Developing countries will witness a sharp rise in the population of elderly people aged 65 years and older in next the thirty years. Globalization has reduced capacities of developing countries by influencing policies in regards to healthcare, economic security and education; as a result, these nations face an uphill task in providing basic social protective services for their incipient aging population. Moreover, economic intensification of market forces has led to increasing social polarization and de-localization of social life, causing a qualitative shift in society’s attitude towards it’s dependent seniors. This has made the elderly people in the developing world—projected to be more that 400 million or so by 2020—especially vulnerable to the rapid social changes and uncertainties therewith. Traditionally, majority of elderly people of developing countries have relied on families for social support and economic security, while a few, who have worked in the organized sector have received some economic sustenance through pension plans; however, healthcare for the elderly has always been widely neglected. Indeed, globalization has contributed to economic well being for many developing nations, but it has reduced “family” into a non-viable economic institution for the elderly by promoting urbanized social values of individualism and atomic self-interest. Thus, in absence of any social security system and in the wake of this gradual decimation in traditional family values, the elderly in many developing countries have been left with no basic services. The paper draws demographic data from India, Bangladesh, and Nepal to explore the influence of globalization on aging population. It concludes by calling for policy changes and identifying potential areas for future research.
|Keywords:||Globalization, Aging, Developing Nations, Social Protection, Social Support, Family|
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA
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