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, aging
the change of properties that occurs in some metals after heat treatment or cold working


the chronological process of growing physically older. However, there is also a social dimension in which chronology is less important than the meanings attached to the process. Different cultural values and social expectations apply according to gender and age group, and therefore there are socially-structured variations in the personal experience of ageing.

EISENSTADT (Generation to Generation, 1964) studied the political role of age groups and argued that age stratification is an important stabilizing influence in societies where:

  1. two sets of values coexist within the social structure – the particularism of family ties and the universalism of the public division of labour (here age groups act as buffers between the public and the private domain and give members solidarity and support as well as orienting them to the adult world of work); and
  2. the opportunity for the young to have full participation in adult society is blocked by systems of KINSHIP and DESCENT (here the age group becomes the basis for status and also power struggles between the generations).

In DEMOGRAPHY the terms ageing society and youthful society are used to indicate the age composition of the population. A youthful society is one in which there is a preponderance of people in young age groups (under 15 years) because of a high BIRTH RATE and low LIFE EXPECTANCY. An ageing society is one in which reductions in the birth rate and greater longevity have resulted in a rising proportion of the population belonging to the older age groups. For example, CENSUS data for the UK shows that in 1911 men over 65 years and women over 60 years comprised 6.8% of the population, whereas in 1981 they comprised 17.1%.

The growing proportion of older people in the population, and the spread of early retirement, has led to age being perceived as a social problem. Older people are subject to negative stereotyping and diminished SOCIAL STATUS. Even academic discourse promotes negative imagery through such terms as ‘burden of dependency’ and ‘dependency ratio’, which refer to the number of economically inactive older people in relation to the number of economically active younger people whose labour provides the services consumed by the older generation. In the US, AGEISM has become a political issue through the emergence of movements, such as the Grey Panthers, determined to safeguard the citizen rights of older people and counter the negative imagery of old age promoted by the commercialization of youth. See also MIDLIFE CRISIS, YOUTH CULTURE.


British variant of aging.

aging, Brit. ageing

1. The progressive change in a chemical and physical material with increased age; in natural rubber and synthetic elastomers, usually marked by a deterioration caused by oxidation. Also see accelerated aging, age hardening, age softening.
2. The storing of varnish to improve clarity and gloss.
References in periodicals archive ?
The mice who received the oil also had lower levels of lipid peroxidation, a significant factor in the aging process.
High-intensity exercise was also shown to reverse the aging process at a cellular level in older adults, according to a (http://www.
Identifying the changes that occur at a cellular level due to these psychosocial factors allows us to understand the causes of these poor health conditions and possibly the overall aging process.
If we inherit our mother's mitochondrial DNA with mutations, we experience aging process more quickly, he explained.
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Each process is supported with research, examples, and narratives that provide the reader with a better understanding of the aging process.
Today, two groups within the NIEHS are exploring the so-called mitochondrial theory of aging--the idea that the aging process itself may be due to a lifetime of oxidative damage to proteins, DNA, and lipids in mitochondria, the cellular organelles where food is converted into energy.
Visual clarity, how well a person sees, is the physiological change most associated with the aging process.
It's one of the best things you can do to slow the aging process.
The company uses natural minerals, waxes and vegetable oils in its shimmering eye shadows ($12), soft-as-silk powders ($24) and creams ($35) that throw a little mud in the eye of the aging process.
This is the real cause of the aging process now underway which will threaten the viability of every country in another 30 years.
Although the elderly were never as large a part of the medieval population as they are in the industrialized west, they were common enough that in the late Middle Ages laws were passed specifically to cover them, and the aging process could be used as a metaphor for the decay of the physical world.