Aging and Ethnicity. Toward an Interface by Leo Driedger

By Leo Driedger

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Thus, the salience of ethnic identity within each group may vary, as may patterns of behaviour with respect to different cultural variables. These patterns may vary over time and across cultures, for example, native Indians or Japanese in Canada and the United States. Similarly, exchange theory has tended to present an overly simplistic and Perspectives on Aging and Ethnicity 27 static view of the elderly. Within this perspective, the problems of the elderly are generally seen as ones of decreasing power resources and of differential values placed on resources by older persons.

1, it is possible to think of at least six regions of Canada where the ethnic clustering results in differential needs of the elderly by regional types.

In a similar vein, Markides et al. (1986) note that earlier studies of the Mexican American family argue for the protective and supportive nature of family relationships. However, the 1960s saw a recognition of over-romanticizing the place of Mexican American elderly in the family and the need for empirical research in the area. As Holzberg (1981) suggests, ethnicity should not necessarily be subsumed under a traditional designation, but should be introduced as a variable to differentiate ethnic cultural patterns.

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