Jade Wang

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wray, Steven (Professor of sociology)

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology


Older people--Taiwan


The purpose of this study is to examine the status of the elderly Chinese in Taiwan, Republic of China, in order to find out whether their status is declining with the increase in industrialization or whether their status has been maintained at a relatively high level. This basic question of the present status and social integration of the aged in Taiwan, Republic of China, provides a test of two theories in social gerontology. Cowgill’s theory asserts that modernization causes a progressive decline in the status and social integration of the aged (Cowgill and Holmes, 1972). The second theory which Palmore outlined in his book: THE HONORABLE ELDERS, is that the oriental tradition of respect for the elderly would prevent a major decline in the status and integration of the aged, despite industrialization (Palmore, 1975)* Descriptive comparisons are used throughout the paper concerning the three main variables of 1) industrialization and urbanization, 2) family and living arrangement, and 3) population. The Similarity Index (SI) (Palmore and Whittington, 1979) is used with the major sociological variables: education, occupation, sex, marital status, and industry, in order to compare the social status of the aged relative to the young. Most of the evidence indicates that the status of the Chinese elderly in Taiwan, Republic of China, has suffered a small decline because of industrialization and urbanization, but the Chinese tradition of respect for the elderly still prevents any rapid declines in the status and integration of the aged through the process of modernization. The evidence tends to support Palmore's theory and contradicts Cowgill and Holmes' theory.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


vi, 95 pages




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