ASCRIPTION BY AGE.
In no society are children adults, and the aged treated alike. Age roles vary greatly among societies. American children spend their childhood in pampered play while Navajo children tend sheep and do weaving at an early age; the aged in revolutionary hina were honored authority figures within the family as long as they lived, while the American’ aged most often retire in age-segregated households. Persons whose behavior is inappropriate for their age status are either laughed at or resented. The teenager who claims adult privileges is irritating, while the mature person who acts like a teenager is ridiculed. “Act . your age” is a common rebuke. Although age-status ascription is universal, , it is changing. Within recent years, American voting age has been reduced to 18, drinking ages in many states have been lowered to 18 or 19 (although in some states the drinking age has been restored to 21), and colleges , have abandoned their in loco parents supervision of college students. Status of the aged .is also changing in American society.