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Developmental implications of an aging population: the Chilean example

International Sociological Association Paper

Author: Edwards, J.
Year: 1994
Type: Journal Article


To understand the developmental implications of societal & individual aging, a case study is presented of aging in Chile. How people age & the quality of life in old age is viewed as a social construct. Thus, priority is given to the response of the economic, social, & political institutions of a society as they plan or do not plan for the incorporation of the old into the society. Fieldwork data are used to argue that the perspectives & policy options exercised by the new "limited" democracy are shaped by the projected myth of Chile as a modernizing country. Proponents of limited democracy believe that modernization, alias economic development, will produce a trickle-down effect where the vulnerable will have their most basic needs met. It is argued that the current prescription for Chile - controlled democracy & neoliberal productive transformation - bring with it defined policy options for the elderly. The viability of these programs as a source of security in old age is explored, as is their role in contributing to the crisis of governance inherent in the development solutions adopted by political & economic elites. Poverty, as a central issue in old age, has not been addressed but rather disguised.

Further Details

Keywords South America, older, policy compliance

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