“Greying population”: Economic, social, and ethical appreciation of old age
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AbstractAs the population is growing older, sociologists and economists are becoming more interested in analyzing this phenomenon. There are two paradigms for interpreting old age. The first one points to excluding old people from social and economic life. It is argued that there should be a balance between activities and possibilities of old people. The other paradigm points to the social, political and economic activities of old people until the end of their lives. It emphasizes their life experience and competencies. The article presents new processes and socio-cultural phenomena that refer to seniors. Some of them are negative like ageism, social isolation, deprivation, the uncertainty of fate and existence. Others are positive and described as “the cult of age” like the dynamic expansion of the grey people industry, development of health care and consumer projects for the elderly. The article argues that the sense and dignity of life of the elderly should be defended, as it is the main motivation and reason for living.