15,294 research outputs found

    The old age challenge to the biomedical model: Paradigm strain and health policy - Longino,C., Murphy,J.

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    Citizenship and Old Age: The End of the Road?

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    This paper is concerned with the interlinked issues of citizenship and the structured dependency of older people within Social Gerontology. It argues that implicit in much British Social Gerontology is a strategy of advancing the wellbeing of elderly people through the extension of citizenship rights. Absence of these rights leads to poverty, exclusion and ageism being commonplace experiences of large sections of the older population. This approach draws heavily on the ideas regarding social citizenship of T. H. Marshall who has influenced much mainstream social policy in Britain since 1945. Changes to the Welfare State since 1979 have seriously questioned the validity of this approach and many of these criticisms apply to the structured dependency approach. Recent work on citizenship can help us to see how the relationship between old age and citizenship has changed and how far theory in social gerontology needs to change to take account of these new circumstances

    Older people as users and consumers of health care: A third age rhetoric for a fourth age reality

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    This paper is concerned with the emergence of consumerism as a dominant theme in the culture surrounding the organisation and provision of welfare in contemporary societies. In it we address the dilemmas produced by a consumerist discourse for older people's healthcare, dilemmas which may be seen as the conflicting representations of third age and fourth age reality. We begin by reviewing the appearance of consumerism in the recent history of the British healthcare system, relating it to the various reforms of healthcare over the last two decades and the more general development of consumerism as a cultural phenomenon of the post World War II era. The emergence of consumer culture, we argue, is both a central theme in post-modernist discourse and a key element in the political economy of the New Right. After examining criticisms of post-modernist representational politics, the limitations of consumerism and the privileged position given to choice and agency within consumerist society, we consider the relevance of such critical perspectives in judging the significance of the user/consumer movement in the lives of retired people

    Concept Forum - The third age: class, cohort or generation?

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    In this paper we consider some of the ways that the third age can be thought about and studied. Taking the work of Peter Laslett as our key source, we explore his 'aspirational' approach toward redefining post-working life and look at some of its limitations as both definition and explanation. There is a need for a more sociologically informed approach to the third age, and we outline three potentially important structures that might better explain it - class, birth cohort, and generation. Whilst it might seem attractive to see the third age as a class-determined status, based on the material and social advantages accruing to people who have retired from well-paid positions in society, the historical period in which the third age has emerged makes this explanation less than adequate. Equally a cohort-based explanation, locating the third age in the 'ageing' of the birth cohort known as the baby boom generation, fails fully to capture the pervasiveness and irreversibility of the cultural change that has shaped not just one but a sequence of cohorts beginning with those born in the years just before World War II. Instead, we argue for a generational framework in understanding the third age, drawing upon Mannheim rather than Marx as the more promising guide in this area

    Generational conflict, consumption and the ageing welfare state in the United Kingdom

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    The British welfare state is over 60 years old. Those who were born, grew up and who are now growing old within its ambit are a distinctive generation. They have enjoyed healthier childhoods with better education that previous populations living in Britain. That they have done well under the welfare state is accepted, but some critics have argued that these advantages are at the expense of younger cohorts. The very success of the ‘welfare generation’ is perceived as undermining the future viability of the welfare state. Current levels of income and wealth enjoyed by older cohorts can only be sustained by cutbacks in entitlements for younger cohorts. This will leads to a growing ‘generation fracture’ over welfare policy. This paper challenges this position, arguing that both younger and older groups find themselves working out their circumstances in conditions determined more by the contingencies of the market than by social policy

    Evaluating the Information Efficiency of Australian Electricity Spot Markets: Multiple Variance Ratio Tests of Random Walks

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    This paper examines whether Australian electricity spot prices follow a random walk. Daily peak and off-peak (base load) prices for New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia are sampled over the period July 1999 to June 2001 and analysed using multiple variance ratio tests. The results indicate that the null hypothesis of a random walk can be rejected in all peak period and most off-period markets because of the autocorrelation of returns. For the Victorian market, the off-peak period electricity spot price follows a random walk. One implication of the study is that in most instances, stochastic autoregressive modelling techniques may be adequate for forecasting electricity prices

    Bone-eating Osedax worms lived on Mesozoic marine reptile deadfalls.

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    We report fossil traces of Osedax, a genus of siboglinid annelids that consume the skeletons of sunken vertebrates on the ocean floor, from early-Late Cretaceous (approx. 100 Myr) plesiosaur and sea turtle bones. Although plesiosaurs went extinct at the end-Cretaceous mass extinction (66 Myr), chelonioids survived the event and diversified, and thus provided sustenance for Osedax in the 20 Myr gap preceding the radiation of cetaceans, their main modern food source. This finding shows that marine reptile carcasses, before whales, played a key role in the evolution and dispersal of Osedax and confirms that its generalist ability of colonizing different vertebrate substrates, like fishes and marine birds, besides whale bones, is an ancestral trait. A Cretaceous age for unequivocal Osedax trace fossils also dates back to the Mesozoic the origin of the entire siboglinid family, which includes chemosynthetic tubeworms living at hydrothermal vents and seeps, contrary to phylogenetic estimations of a Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic origin (approx. 50-100 Myr)
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