Ethnic Minorities and Elder Employment

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An ethnic minority is a group of people who differ in race or color or in national, religious, or cultural origin from the dominant group—often the majority population—of the country in which they live. The different identity of an ethnic minority may be displayed in any number of ways, ranging from distinctive customs, lifestyles, language or accent, dress, and food preferences to particular attitudes, moral values, and economic or political beliefs espoused by members of the group. Characteristically the minority is recognized, but it is not necessarily accepted by the larger society in which its members live. The nature of the relationship of the ethnic minority to the larger society will tend to determine whether the minority group will move in the direction of assimilation in the larger society or toward self-segregation. In some cases ethnic minorities have been simply excluded by the majority, a striking example being African Americans in the American South during the late-19th and 20th centuries. Elder employment has its personal value and social functions. At the personal level, it would improve the elder people’s life quality from three aspects: first, getting employed could to a great extent ameliorate elder citizens’ economic situation; second, it will bring them independence and dignity (they no longer need to totally rely on offspring or government; third, it brings self-realization by giving the senior citizens a sense that they are making contributions to the society and they are still valuable to others. Also, senior employment has considerable social and economic functions: first, by improving the life quality and economic status of senior citizens, it relieves the tension within families; second, the senior par... ... middle of paper ... ..., with the advancement of technology and medical systems, both the life span and available labor years have increased to a great extent. In such a context, the value of the senior citizens who intend to enter or reenter the labor force should be evaluated not only socially but also economically. While being praised for its function in social administration as an improvement in senior life quality and community harmony, senior employment should also be applauded for its huge economic value: with the adoption of this labor pool, the burden of population aging would be relieved considerably. Our program, which is going to put an emphasis on the minority group among the elderly, would provide an important supplement to the already existing senior employment assistance programs, in helping senior job seekers find their suitable location in the society and our economy.
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