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English Seminar

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Sonne Lee

on 16 April 2010

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Transcript of English Seminar

Senior Citizens: They are Doing More than You Think * Gerontology:
Gerontology (from Greek: γέρων, geron, "old man" and -λογία, -logy, "study of") is the study of the social, psychological and biological aspects of aging. It is distinguished from geriatrics, which is the branch of medicine that studies the disease of the elderly.

- Thank you, wikipedia So. The elderly. Probably some politician: All those old people are the poison to our country. And our welfare budget. They should jump off a cliff.

Gerontologists: D: No they are not! They can be productive, too! Productive Aging eventually leaning toward Useful Aging
: Want to be respected? Be useful.
Because, y'know, unproductive behaviors are bad. The "Citizen" part of "Senior Citizens" Somebody went:

Oh! :DDDDD I know! They should be responsible citizens!
They have the time since they are retired, they've got the wisdom,
they can be the perfect citizens! :DDDDDD

Like, through civic engagement! Like, volunteering! That can promote social capital, you know. And that would, in turn, help maintain our democracy! And puppies! Puppies are not pleased. Yet they are convincing, as in the modern world,
Welfare rights are based on citizenship. They are doing more than you think. They are doing more than we think. * Putnam:
One of the main theorists of social capital in the last decade. He defined social capital as the sum of the following characteristics.

The existence of community networks: involving human interaction within a community through clubs, societies, the church, and other organisations/networks
Civic engagement: the participation of people in communal processes and the use of the above networks
Civic identity: the feeling of equal participation within a community
Reciprocity: mutual help among members in a community
Trust as opposed to fear

- Thank you, Campbell et al. Civic engagement -- Networks -- Social capital -- Democracy ( -- ??? -- Profit! ) * Civic Engagement:
Voting, participating in party-based politics, and staying informed about current events Only the narrow version of the definition * Citizenship?
: having some concern for others and having some connectedness to a group larger than oneself such as family, community, race, or religion are certainly relevant to citizenship (Sherrod) * Civic activity?
: voluntary and altruistic in nature, while simultaneously nurturing reciprocity, social ties, and social trust. Moreover, it must be unpaid and only indirectly related to the state (Putnam). Putnam's classy examples of civic engagement
: voter turnout, reading the newspaper, participation in such public forums as PTAs,
and in such private organizations as choral societies and bowling leagues.
... the kind of external activity that “gets people off the living room couch.

- Thank you, Hyman, but in this context, this would imply that our senior citizens actually have the luxury of chilling in their living room couch. It gets even better. Herd, Pemela and Madonna Harrington Meyer. 2002.
Care Work - Invisible Civic Enagement. Gender and Society 16(5): 665-688. Civic engagement scholars argue that families are critical to a healthy democracy-- yet they fail to consider what makes families so productive * As a catalyst
: Families provide the basic necessities required to develop, and exercise
the rights and demands of citizenship.
: Caring can lead to other forms of engagements, as its extension. * As civic engagement in itself
: unpaid care work provided within families
: shouldn't be taken for granted-- people can decide not to care
: reciprocity between extended family members, neighbors, and friends So we see that they are doing more than we think. Is this a good thing? Greater civic engagement = a weak substitute for strong policies. If we want to assign a Raison d'être for the elderly, we had better make it a good one.
One that would be for their sake. Something more inclusive, something more appreciative.
Something about love, perhaps.

And puppies. Because they are always nice. "By assuming the desirability of productivity and reducing the vision of an aging society to it, advocates bypass a critical task to understand aging in all its manifestations and to respect older people not only when they are contributing in any way elucidated to date, but also when they become more dependent."

- Probably Holstein
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