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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 present study included 291 nonagenarian volunteers who were participants in the population-based Vitality 90+ study, which included all nonagenarians born in 1909-1910 and living in the city of Tampere and its surroundings in southern Finland in 2000.
"Two Women" probes the long-term relationship of the young wife of a political prisoner and his bedridden, nonagenarian mother, spending her last days faithfully awaiting her son's return from making his fortune in "America." In "The Circus," a willful brother and sister transform their village playmates into a mindless rabble, mimicking the manner of terrorists in their contempt for weakness and innocence, until death calls their bluff.
"The main reason the Clintonites chose Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic," Friedman wrote in June 1997 with a certainty matched only by his ignorance of Central Europe,"is because each has a strong ethnic voting bloc in the U.S." (This non sequitur was so appealing to him that he repeated it in six more columns.) When illogic failed, Friedman brought out the crazy metaphors--Porgy and Bess, Whitewater, Ben &Jerry's (don't ask)--and quoted the nonagenarian foreign policy eminence George Kennan as making the hideously inaccurate statement that "Russia's democracy is as far advanced, if not farther, as any of these countries we've just signed up to defend from Russia."
Instead the nonagenarian goes to work for the West Tisbury Grackle a one page broadsheet published by William Botts.
The power lunch was born in the Grill Room, designed by gay nonagenarian architect Philip Johnson.
And Pearl Rock Kane asks nonagenarian Milton Friedman, the father of the modern voucher movement, to reflect on the progress of his idea.
David Cangelosi's lovely tenor in Beppe's serenade belied the inexplicable-and tiresome--characterization imposed on him of a doddering nonagenarian, the one false note in the evening's productions.
By gathering a wide sampling of vocal duets featuring Buena Vista Social Club's most successful icon, the present compilation documents the worldwide impact made by the nonagenarian cigar-smoking guajiro troubadour whose musical roots are precisely derived from said vocal structure, as illustrated in the last of the 16 duets included in this Warner Company/East West S.A.
For this exhibition, it is occupied by a swirling white monument concocted by New York nonagenarian Philip Johnson.
Only in the furiously tender works of the early '70s--when (one imagines) painting had become for the nonagenarian artist something more like a substitute for sex than a mere metaphor for it--do we witness anything like a real union of lovers, and of the senses.
And, of course, despite Hollywood's trumpeting of the romantic but inaccurate reminiscences of a nonagenarian London club bore, the seeds were not smuggled out.
Dominicans voting in legislative elections handed a big win to the party of a dead politician, buoyed the sitting president and scorned the Caribbean nation's nonagenarian former strongman, results showed on May 19: