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, aging
the change of properties that occurs in some metals after heat treatment or cold working
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


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.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000


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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The median age range for both the groups was recorded to be 41-50 years which is in accordance to similar studies from Pakistan and India14,17 but in contrast to other studies with a mean age of 49.7 +- 15.9 years for clinically significant endoscopic findings5.
The median age of people in Oxford stood at 29.7 in 2017.
"Nationally, almost 17% of counties saw a decrease in median age from April 2010 to July 2017.
Loughborough Ashby had the youngest median age in Charnwood at 21.6 years old, followed by Loughborough Southfields at 23.8 years old.
Out of 23 wards in Kirklees , one had a median age in the twenties, 10 in the thirties, and 12 in the forties.
* The median age at marriage was 28 years for women and 30 years for men.
As of August 2017, all 8 of the surviving patients are older than 12 months (median age of 29.8 months [range, 16.5-39.4]).
Major League Baseball continues to have the highest median age for live TV viewers.
Sumter, Fla., was the county with the highest median age, at 67.1 years, up from 49.2 years at the turn of the millennium.
Median age of inventory is estimated to end at 68 days, down two percent from last year and up five percent from last month.
The median age of the population in Turkey also rose from what was 30.7 in 2014 to 31 in 2015.
[1] found that the median age of diagnosis of congenital hearing loss (CHL) in a public sector tertiary referral hospital was 3.71 years.