Poltavskaya M.B. Social Activity of the “Third Age”: Gender Aspect (a Case Study of the Population of Volgograd)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2018.2.5

Mariya B. Poltavskaya
Candidate of Sciences (Sociology), Associate Professor of Department of Sociology, Volgograd State University

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Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

Abstract. The theoretical part of the article includes a review of modern concepts studying the problem of social activity of elderly people, in which the period of the "third age" is defined as a stage of self-actualization, allowing self-development, improve health (the concept of the "third age"); emphasizes the relationship between activity, health, independence and aging (the concept of "active longevity"); focuses on the management of a lifestyle consisting of active involvement in public life, low susceptibility to disease and the preservation of mental and physical abilities (the concept of "successful aging"); postulates continuous development in old age through gerotranscendence as a new worldview peculiar to older people (the concept of "positive aging"); explores the potential of older people through measurable actions of economic value (the concept of "productive aging"). The empirical part of the article is based on the data of a formal survey of Volgograd residents (N = 655 people) conducted in the spring of 2018. The spheres of social activity of citizens of the "third age" are analyzed: participation in the work of non-profit organizations, in charitable, political and socially useful activities. Institutional social activity was measured through the attitude of the "third-age" citizens to socially oriented non-profit organizations. The greatest awareness is revealed about charitable organizations, the least – about professional and creative unions and associations. Social activity of the 50-59 year old and citizens older than 60 years differs markedly: twice as many of those who previously participated in the work of non-profit organizations, among citizens older than 60 years. Gender differences are revealed in the channels of informing about the activities of non-profit organizations, gender differences in the participation of citizens of the "third age" in volunteer and charitable activities are not clearly expressed. The most popular type of charity is the transfer of things to an organization engaged in charity. The organization of the charity project is not so common, it is more typical for women aged 50 years and older. It is concluded that age is the dominant variable and more often than sex determines the difference in the motives and behaviors of people of the "third age".

Key words: gender, social activity, "third age", active aging, successful aging, positive aging, healthy aging

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