Socioeconomic Development and the Status of Elderly Men in Turkey: a Test of Modernization Theory

Gilleard, Christopher John
Gürkan, Ali Arslan
The aim of this study was to test the predictions of modernization theory concerning the relationship between socioeconomic development and the status of elderly men in Turkish society. Using data derived from Turkish provincial census returns for 1980 and related material, we performed a series of principal component (pc) regression analyses on the data. The results indicated that a greater proportion of elderly men were classified as “head of household” in provinces characterized by low levels of urbanization and industrialization and with high village populations. Labor force participation rates of elderly men also demonstrated a negative relationship to the modernization variables. In contrast, measures of educational and high-level employment status showed a positive relationship with these indexes. These latter variables may reflect historical processes of development and achievements gained earlier in life rather than the current status of elderly men in turkey. Thus, the study provides strong support for the major tenets of modernization theory.