Literate Societies Place Less Value on the Elderly

...older people in traditional societies have a huge significance that would never occur to us in our modern, literate societies, where our sources of information are books and the Internet. In contrast, in traditional societies without writing, older people are the repositories of information. It's their knowledge that spells the difference between survival and death for their whole society in a time of crisis caused by rare events for which only the oldest people alive have had experience. Those, then, are the ways in which older people are useful in traditional societies. Their usefulness varies and contributes to variation in the society's treatment of the elderly.


In societies without readily-available information stored in written words, the elderly are more valuable for their knowledge and experience.

Folksonomies: culture society information age social responsibility elderly

/art and entertainment/books and literature (0.453298)
/society/welfare/social services (0.333514)
/society (0.278564)

traditional societies (0.990074 (positive:0.331169)), older people (0.938502 (positive:0.331169)), literate societies (0.891096 (neutral:0.000000)), huge significance (0.544967 (neutral:0.000000)), readily-available information (0.526172 (neutral:0.000000)), rare events (0.512376 (neutral:0.000000)), oldest people (0.486036 (neutral:0.000000)), knowledge (0.397016 (positive:0.506982)), experience (0.395898 (positive:0.506982)), Elderly (0.389571 (neutral:0.000000)), society (0.388747 (neutral:0.000000)), usefulness (0.361625 (neutral:0.000000)), repositories (0.359595 (neutral:0.000000)), contrast (0.358669 (neutral:0.000000)), variation (0.353106 (neutral:0.000000)), difference (0.351821 (neutral:0.000000)), Value (0.351175 (neutral:0.000000)), words (0.350741 (neutral:0.000000)), survival (0.348424 (neutral:0.000000)), crisis (0.347494 (neutral:0.000000)), sources (0.346118 (neutral:0.000000)), books (0.345983 (neutral:0.000000)), Internet (0.345882 (neutral:0.000000)), death (0.343348 (neutral:0.000000)), time (0.343119 (neutral:0.000000))

Sociology (0.954673): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Gerontology (0.794710): website | dbpedia | freebase
Death (0.709078): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Old age (0.695594): dbpedia | freebase
Science (0.651919): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Middle age (0.614100): dbpedia | freebase
Ageing (0.593566): dbpedia | freebase
Writing (0.573845): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 How societies can grow old better
Proceedings of Meetings and Symposia>Speech:  Diamond, Jared (March 2013), How societies can grow old better, Ted Talk, Retrieved on 2013-11-27
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: society age aging