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1. Interview an individual that is at least 65 years old. This involves the following steps:
a.Choose a subject to interview. This could be a friend of the family, someone that you work or volunteer with, or even a family member.
b.Prepare interview questions designed to illicit a history of his/her life (this step will be completed in Assignment 2).
c.Acquire consent from your subject by:
1)informing them of the nature of the research, any risks involve, the approximate time commitment, what the results will be used for and how they will be presented; and
2) obtaining their signature on a consent form.
d.Conduct one to two interviews with your subject, the duration of which will be approximately 1.5 hrs. Interviews must be completed in a professional and ethical manner.
e.Take notes and record the interview to capture the information.
f.Transcribe the interview. Offer the transcript to the subject to review. Incorporate corrections / comments provided by the subject.
g. Analyze the data by identifying major life events, social positions of the subject at various times during the life course, and the meanings attached to the experiences.

2.Drawing on information collected from the interview and current sociological academic research, write a research paper that includes the following:
a.A general summary/outline of the person’s life. Highlight key transitional moments and important life events.
b.Identify and discuss the social context and social positions of the subject as they moved through the life course. Consider the role that ethnicity, race, social class, and gender (to name a few) has played in shaping his/her life experiences.
c.An analysis of how key events and the subject’s social position (social context) may have shaped their life.
d.Frame your analysis using one major sociological theoretical paradigm (structural functional, social conflict, or symbolic interaction paradigm).
e.Support the analysis using evidence from academic peer reviewed sources.

Interviewing an individual aged 65 years or above

The person chosen for the study is Mary, a woman who is aged 70 years.  Mary lives with her two grandsons, daughter in- law and her son. In the society, media tend to associate elderly people with a lot of negative cultural attitudes (Rowe & Kahn, 2015). The community glorifies the youth linking them with sexuality and beauty. The roles in the society are not appreciated as compared to that of children. Many people associate aging with hostility. Biological function about numbers of years does not only reveal the age of a person lived but also the expectations and social norms that were used in each phase of life. Many aspects that are associated with aging depend on gender, education, race, social class and other related social factors that affect the presence of an individual. There are many stereotypes and assumptions about aging in the society. Each culture has its assumptions and expectations about aging which contribute the part of socialization in the community.  The main aim of the article is to understand how the processes and the social structure of the society influence the experiences of old age as well as aging.

The methods used to collect information from Mary were face to face interviews, questionnaires and focused the discussion. The method of data collection is determined by the information needed (Svensson et al, 2016). The interview mainly focused on the health, education and work aspect of Mary. Through the interview, Mary revealed that he suffered from hypertension when she was 65 years. She has been receiving medication and changed her eating habit. She is educated and graduated with a degree in Psychology.  In her lifetime, she has worked in rehabilitation centers and hospitals. She provides counseling to people with mental disorders.  Questionnaires were used to gather information about the age, marital status, nationality, college attended and some children. There was also a discussion with her family members on how they take care of their old parents and make sure all the necessities are provided.  There were about 15 questions, and the interviewee was free to ask any question. The interview was lively, and Mary enjoyed sharing her life history.

Mary is aged 70 years, and she is a family friend. I have been a friend with Mary for more than ten years. She has taught me many things such how to relate well to others in the society.  Mary is my neighbor, and I have a good relationship with her. She is known to be jovial, welcoming, generous and kind. Many of the old people are associated with hostility, but her case is different.   She is a widow, and her husband died ten years ago due to cancer.  Since the death of her husband, she has been living happily with the family of her son. She enjoys the company of her grandson John and James who they like playing with. She is a white American but currently living in India where they were living before the death of her husband.

Collecting information using various methods

Mary was born in the family of two children.  She attended Harvard University and graduated in a Bachelor degree in Psychology. She had passion in helping people with mental illness. From her passion and commitments, she has been able to help many people in United States as well Indians.  She got married when she was 25 years to Mark Orton.  She enjoyed her marriage till the death of her husband.  In the interview, she said that the death of her parents when she was fifty years affected and changed her responsibility. She had to take care of the property which she inherited from her parents. All activities had to run accordingly despite the death of her parents.  Between 1975- 1779, she worked as a volunteer where she provided counseling to people who were exposed to traumatic events such as war. Most of her clients were those involved in 2rd World War as well as those who were affected by catastrophes such as earthquakes. She was motivated to work hard so as to help other people realize their worth in the society despite of the challenges they were facing.   In 1980- 1985, She worked in Nimhans hospital, Bangalore as a chief psychiatrist. She provided counseling as well as therapy to people with mental illness.  She worked hard and ensured that all the patients have been attended according to their desires. She was rated the best counselor in 1992 because of her continuous commitments and passion to serving people with mental problems.  In 2008, she retired from her worked and went to stay at home with her son’s family, Mark Orton. She has been living with them and enjoying the company of her grandsons John and James.

Old age is highly influenced by the social factors of the individual such as education, health, work and social networks (Harridge & Lazarus, 2017).  The history of Mary was clearly understood due to her ability to communicate well. Mary is educated and has the capability of illustrating ideas very well.  The educational system made her conversant with research which people do and the ethics related to it. Communication is the key to collecting enough and valid data. Mary was willing to respond according to the information ask because she understood the importance of the research to the community.  Secondly, the kind of job she had been doing. She has been working as psychiatrist and a counselor in different institution. The type of work a person does can influence how he or she will relate with others (Jackson, 2015).  The relationship with people helps in data collection helps the respondent to deliver the information required. Thirdly, family of the interviewee also helped in getting information about her. There was a discussion with the family members where the data was collected on the budget of the old women. It also covered the challenges encountered when taking care of the old age. Furthermore, social economic status of Mary helped her to live a healthy life. She was able to afford most of the medical needs. When she suffered hypertension, she was able to get early medical diagnosis and treatment. She changed her lifestyle and adapted to the new lifestyle.  Mary is White America and she looked for the medical solution in American when realized that her body had problem. She was economically stable and could afford most of her necessities.  The condition allowed Mary to take care of health status because she could afford most of her health needs. Education also shaped the life of Mary especially on the relationship with other. She understood how to establish a good relation with the clients. When she was in Harvard University, she was able to interact with people from different social and cultural background. The culture of the people determines how they age. Some of the cultures give value to age people and helps them appreciate their aging period.  The culture of Mary allowed her to enjoy her life and interact with other people.

Mary's background and life experiences

The theory selected for this instance is Conflict theory which has macro analysis level.  The theory focuses the competition that exists for the scarce resources (Denzin, 2017).  The elite take control of the weak and poor and tend to dedicate what they should be done. It shows how the society is full of inequality based on the gender, social class and education. A social change is required to eliminate or reduce existence of social inequality and enhance egalitarian in the society. Society is made up of people of various social classes and they compete for material, political and social resources such as education, employment, housing and food.  The conflict that exist in the society act as a mean for change and conflict is important for social revolution (Whitty, 2017). The conflict make people struggle for the limited resource and work hard so as to achieve the best. The rich and high social class people tend to have power over the poor people and influence the decision made about them.  The theory explains the experiences and the life which people go through in the stages of life. The economic class of an individual can dedicate the kind of lifestyle he she will live which will consequently influence the aging period. A successful aging is linked to good healthcare (Ritzer & Stepnisky, 2017). The medical needs of the old people are addressed according to social class, social support provided by the family members and education. People who can afford good medical conditions have the high probability of living long live because their health requirements are always given priority.

Conclusion

The aging process of a person is influenced by the social class, education, family members and gender. The needs of the old people should be adequately addressed to increase their life duration. Mary who is 70 years is educated, and she understands the diversity of culture. She has worked with different people and knows how to communicate very well, a factor that contributed to the success of the interview.  She was able to respond to most of the questions accordingly and the information produced was accurate.  Conflict theory focuses on how individual struggle for the scarce resources. The rich and wealthy individuals continue to dedicate the life of the poor and the weak.

References

Denzin, N. K. (2017). The research act: A theoretical introduction to sociological methods.

Harridge, S. D., & Lazarus, N. R. (2017). Physical activity, aging, and physiological function. Physiology, 32(2), 152-161.

Jackson, M. J. (2015). Redox regulation of muscle adaptations to contractile activity and aging. Journal of applied physiology, 119(3), 163-171.

Ritzer, G., & Stepnisky, J. (2017). Modern sociological theory. SAGE Publications.

Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (2015). Successful aging 2.0: conceptual expansions for the 21st century. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 70(4), 593-596.

Svensson, R. B., Heinemeier, K. M., Couppé, C., Kjaer, M., & Magnusson, S. P. (2016). Effect of aging and exercise on the tendon. Journal of applied physiology, 121(6), 1353-1362.

Whitty, G. (2017). Sociology and school knowledge: Curriculum theory, research, and politics.

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