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In what ways and to what extent have government policies had to adapt to the changing demographics of Britain with particular reference to the impact of older people.
Student ID 329897
School of Social Policy
University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
Introduction and Background
The influence of older people within 21st century society has increased dramatically due to circumstances which occurred post-World War Two. The two baby booms between 1948-1950 and between 1955-1962 meant that at the dawn of the 21st century the demographics for Britain hosted a 'top heavy' population with older people accounting for higher numbers than ever before (Scharf, 2002). Initial post war political trends meant that many older people were excluded, with Europe being characterised by high levels of acquiescence (Cumming and Henry 1961). For older people in particular, a method of disengagement meant that levels of participation were often kept to a minimum after the age of retirement. Thus retirement acted as a process by which older people were detached from society, losing sources of political consciousness and channels of representation (Walker 1999). Their passiveness was often highlighted as a popular trend and meant that their roles within
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