Sociology Journal: Dialectic Reading on “Driving Discontinuance And Quality Of Life Among Elderly” by Joseph M. Pellerito Jr.


What questions did the text/chapter raise? How did the text answer this question? How does the answer match our own ideas and experiences?
What is driving retirement and what consequences exist for it? In the text, the discussion of driving retirement revolves mainly around both elderly men and women.  Driving retirement is the act of excluding oneself from driving a vehicle among society.  People who take themselves upon driving retirement are due to compulsory reasons (forced to quit driving) or voluntary reasons (because of known personal health factors for example).  From studies within the text, mostly negative consequences are associated with driving retirement.  Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 1) diminished spontaneity, 2) feelings of being a burden on family members, and 3) a perceived loss of social status.  Also, both men and women perceive driving retirement differently.  Women see driving retirement having more of an impact on their social lives, whereas men see it impact more to their personal morale. Driving retirement may be seen as a personal punishment to oneself.  I can relate as I possibly may be involved in getting my license revoked from drunk driving or speeding for example.  There is a sense of freedom when one drives.  The open roads allow us to go anywhere we want that walking may not be capable of taking us there.  I also understand that driving is a privilege and not a right, so I appreciate the fact that I am able to drive anywhere and anytime I want.  When I get older, I would want regulations that seem fair to me to have myself being revoked from driving.  I do not want to be force to not drive when I know and that my record shows that I am indeed still a safe driver.  Or, at least I would like to see a special kind of transportation or deals for seniors to get around.
What are the associations of the self to driving retirement? The text employs many sociological perspectives to bracket together driving retirement.  One of them includes symbolic interactionism.  This perspective is specifically looked at how older people see themselves influenced by the broader societal view as seniors as a group.  Their competence level and their driving skills are also discussed here.  Mead’s view of the self is also described.  This perspective is meant by the person is at the core of the symbolic interactionism.  More of Mead’s view is talked about by Blumer (the self can be “active” and “adaptive”) with associations of Cooley’s the looking-glass self (a person’s self grows from interaction with others and that an individual’s self-awareness is a reflection of the ideas about himself that she or he attributes to the minds of others).  Overall, driving retirement and the self goes into deeper context made by the text to show that socially and psychologically how it may affect oneself. By understanding the sociological perspectives, one can understand driving retirement in a deeper context.  From obtaining a driver’s license is one going through and/or having a rite of passage.  The times we spent driving may be unconsciously recorded.  But, until that one day when driving retirement comes upon us, we will realize the associations of being able to drive and not being able to drive.  Socially and psychological, this can be devastating to oneself.

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