AGING AND INEQUALITY BASED IN AGE
from society. many others are physically. socially. and financially independent. Today. people age’ 65 and older make up 13 percentof the total population in the United States. and it is estimated that people in this age group will constitute20 percent of the total population by 2050. Almost 90 percent of the people living in the high-income countries today are expected to survive to age 65. However •by sharp contrast. in low-income countries such as Zambia. Uganda. and Rwanda. nearly half of the total population in each nation is not expected to survive to age 40 (United Nations Development Programme, 2003). In this chapter. we examine the sociological aspects of aging. We will also examine how older people seek dignity, autonomy. and empowerment in societies such as the United States that may devalue those who do not fit the ideal norms of youth, beauty. ph sical fitness. and self-sufficiency. Before reading on, test your knowledge about aging and age-based discrimination in the United States by taking the quiz in Box 12.1.