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Cummings & Henry
The way society treats the old has positive benefits for society. The elderly are encouraged to abandon their occupational roles within the labour market. This is the process of social disengagement.
Believes that age inequality is inevitable. To some extent we are biologically determined to undertake certain roles. These roles are necessary for the smooth functioning of society.
Argues different age groups learn and acquire new social roles. These roles enable them to contribute to social cohesion and solidarity. (example: youths – status frustration; have to build their own identities).