A crisis of perceptions
Old age, according to a recent article in the Venezuelan newspapers, is the only requisite for entering Purgatory. The aged population of Venezuela constitutes one of the smallest and least understood components of the Venezuelan population. Ignored and virtually invisible, the aged have barely captured the attention of researchers. Only two monographs have been written on this subject in the past 15 years, one by a sociologist (Aponte Bolivar, 1978) and the other by a geriatric physician (Mazzei Berti, 1988). Given the paltry state of knowledge, it is impossible to delineate the major characteristics of the Venezuelan aged. Nevertheless, I would like to discuss some of the critical changes that are currently affecting the ageing process for growing numbers of Venezuelans. As this group becomes more numerous, it will be impossible to ignore the demographic trends and their implications.
KeywordsRural Family Urban Society Fictive Kinship Natural Growth Rate Sociocultural Change
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