Rotariu 4/2006

Sociologie Românească, Vol. IV, no. 4/2006, pp. 76-93.



SR 4 2006 coperta

Îmbătrânirea demografică și unele efecte sociale ale ei

Demographic Aging and Its Social Effects

Traian Rotariu


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Abstract (Rezumat în limba engleză): Some demographic processes have been listed among other global threats to humankind. A couple of decades ago, overpopulation and the rapid population growth were considered the main demographic risks; today, demographic aging is more and more viewed as a threat. The author argues against the pessimistic and catastrophic views often present in research or social action programs, and submits a realistic thesis, based on socio-demographic analyses of social phenomena. The article discusses the genesis and evolution of the process of demographic aging, and then assesses the dangers involved in this situation. The article focuses on the often-mentioned threat that civilization cannot longer evolve because of aging, and the two risks discussed in the demographic and economic literature: the collapse of the pension system and of the social insurance system. The general conclusion related to these last two issues is that the problems of Occidental societies related to aging are social problems that have social solutions, and they are not demographic problems to be addressed by demographic policies.