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The Effects of Age-Graded Associations on the Political Activism of the Elderly

Description: Although the graying of the American society has been well documented, the question as to whether the elderly populace will indeed become a political factor has yet to be determined. Some studies indicate that the elderly will soon develop the consensus needed for political action; other studies counter that the elderly will never be a viable political factor. Among the determinants listed as influencing the political participation equation are standard socioeconomic variables (e.g., race, social status, education, and income). These factors have been studied extensively (Campbell 1960; Key 1950; Milbrath 1965; Nagel 1987; Rose 1965). Trela recently added an item that could possibly influence the political activism of the elderly: membership in age-graded associations. This study addresses the questions raised by Trela (1971), namely, whether age-graded associations influence the political activity of senior citizens, and if so, in what direction elderly participation is swayed. Unlike previous reports, the preliminary data gathered for this study suggest that the age-graded associations of the elderly cannot accurately predict their political activism.
Date: December 1991
Creator: Mata, Joe I. (Joe Israel)
Partner: UNT Libraries