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Between family and state: ageing in Poland and Norway

Ageing & Society

Author: Midre, G., Synak, B.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1989

Abstract:

A comparative description of the situation of elderly (age 60+) people in Poland & Norway, following Gordon Streib's model (see SA 36:3/88T6703) for comparing the sociocultural context of aging. The following variables are considered: demographic characteristics; economic & living conditions; cultural, family, & ideological background; & social policy principles. Analysis indicates that the more traditional Polish pattern, characterized by a closely knit family structure & a high degree of interdependency between the young & old, differs from the more modern Norwegian pattern in terms of cultural, economic, & legal variables. In more prosperous Norway, public services are more varied, & elderly people are more independent, & play a more active role in the labor market. In Poland, formal care is seen as the last resort; state services are directed toward the elderly without immediate family. The Norwegian system places no legal obligation on families, which results in a higher proportion of elderly living in institutions. While the modern pattern places fewer restrictions on the family & the informal sector in general, the role of the family does not necessarily become less important for defining the situation of the elderly. It is concluded, however, that the modern pattern creates more opportunities for individual choice.

Further Details

Full Title: Ageing & Society
Pages: 241-259
Volume: 9
Issue: 3
Accession Number: 23.5.03
Keywords: older, policy compliance
Reads: 141
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