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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 ?
We found that the offspring of nonagenarians who had at least 1 nonagenarian sibling had lower levels of vitamin D than controls, independent of possible confounding factors and SNPs [single nucleotide polymorphisms] associated with vitamin D levels," said the researchers.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Robotic surgery for endometrial cancer is a safe option for patients in their 80s and 90s, based on data from a study comparing outcomes from 27 octogenarians and nonagenarians with 395 younger controls.
Hector Pena Diaz looks at the works of two giants of Chilean poetry, the nonagenarians Nicanor Parra and Gonzalo Rojas.
Many of them have lived to be nonagenarians, including Liverpool-born Harry Rabinowitz -still with us and one-time conductor of the BBC Revue Orchestra.
15 /PRNewswire/ -- Chief Executive Officer/President Molly Forrest of the world-renowned Los Angeles Jewish Home, which houses the largest group of 90 year olds in the United States, has canvassed this unique group of nonagenarians for the top-five tips on how people of all ages with or without grandparents can mark "National Grandparents Day" on September 9.
Therefore we hypothesized that apoE [epsilon]4 status may also modify the clinical value of plasma hsCRP in predicting total mortality among nonagenarians.
On a historical note the most interesting aspect about the demise of the Speedway Hotel is the fact that its car park was the site of the former ancient hamlet of Ayresome and only nonagenarians will remember the old white cottages which previously stood t he re.
The oldest recipient was 94 but there were also 14 other nonagenarians.
Frances Lane served as master of ceremonies, calling octogenarians and nonagenarians tothe stage to be presented with certificates.