As we did last week, we will continue to take a look at some important contemporary social problems in order to get us in the habit of thinking from an interdisciplinary social science perspective.
This week, we will explore a topic that is likely to touch every one of us at some point in our lives. As life expectancy increases, our older adult population is growing at a considerable rate, creating a modern phenomenon known as “the Sandwich Generation.”
View the video at the following link to learn more about the Sandwich Generation: https://vimeo.com/92162450
Next, read the following article:
Wassel, J. I., & Cutler, N. E. (2016). Yet Another Boomer Challenge for Financial Professionals: The “Senior” Sandwich Generation. Journal Of Financial Service Professionals, 70(1), 61-73.
After reviewing these resources, respond to the following questions:
1) What are some of the important issues that need to be considered when discussing the Sandwich Generation? Generate a list of items and when you have submitted your response, look and see what your classmates have identified as issues in their responses.
2) How might social scientists from different disciplines talk about these issues? For example, what questions would a psychologist ask compared to an anthropologist? What issues would be the focus of a sociologist? How might a gerontologist frame this problem?
3) What are some potential controversies inherent in this issue? Think about why this social problem might be difficult to solve. Are there gaps in our knowledge? Lack of resources? Opposing political views regarding funding? Think broadly and from an interdisciplinary perspective in order to respond to this question.
4) Where does the solution lie? Are there policies that need to be changed or enacted to resolve the issue? Are there programs or services that might help to alleviate caregiver burden? What can employers do to help?
For this discussion, I’d really like to see this be a conversation among peers. That is, I want to see you come up with your initial thoughts, but then read and provide comment to the ideas of your classmates so that we can generate a rich and fruitful discussion. This kind of brainstorming and discussion ultimately makes for better solutions.
Remember to keep the discussion respectful and recognize that there may be differences of opinion, but we are here to learn and broaden our perspectives.