Discussion 2 In the discussion provided by Irma Perales she provides some of the best illustrations of cross-cultural differences on aging. In the first paragraph she cites how as a girl she would be ridiculed in a Caucasian dominated school when she ate tacos instead of usual sandwich. Now that she is older and wiser, she knows that cholesterol is not her friend at the moment. She argues that as a Mexican-American she now knows that some of her cultural foods such as tacos are high in fats and carbohydrates. These are some of the contributors of heart problems, diabetes and cancer in people.
In her second paragraph, she also provides how the aging process is different for men and women. For example, she says that when she was 25 she used to think she was 40 and now that she is 48 years she wants her youth back. Such an illustration shows the society’s influence on women and their bodies. Additionally, her marriage of 28 years came to an end after she discovered that her husband was having an affair with a 20-year-old girl.
It clearly shows the society’s intolerance and cruelty towards women. Sadly, this is a scene in the world, whether in a developed state or a developing state. The man in this scenario seems to have a mid-life crisis yet seems to desire being young that is why he had an affair with a girl. Aside from learning from other cultures and being a sociologist and based on her discussion, it is evident that the older a person gets, the wiser they become.
In the second discussion, by Halley Cortez, she argues that cross-cultural differences in regard to aging process exist because of determining factors such as the age of the person and ability to work. In Harris’s book the physical and mental capability of a person is also a contributing factor (2007). I support her opinion, when she says that 55 years is not really that old. I always admire some cultures such as the Koreans and Japanese among others because they believe in honoring the old as wise. Cortez is right when she says that the double standards when it comes to aging continue to exist even when women tend to live longer than men.
In fact, she provides an excellent illustration when she says that an unattractive older man with a six figure salary is still seen as a strong man, whereas a woman who might have a six figure salary, but is unattractive is in most cases left by her husband and branded in derogatory terms such as a cougars and old maids. I believe that an older person, whether a man or a woman is not only wise, but strong because they have managed to conquer all those decades of diseases, war and some of the inhumane cultural practices.
Harris, D. (2007). The sociology of aging. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Inc.