Ageism: Old Age and Older Citizens

Topics: Old age, Discrimination, Gerontology Pages: 4 (1659 words) Published: September 23, 2013
“Ageism- Our Older Citizens”
Over the course of my life I have heard many people say that ageing is an inevitable part of life that you will just have to get use to and adjust to it. I have even heard many people say that aging is an incurable disease. Not many people now-a-days have a positive attitude about aging. Many of us are obsessed with the tough that we should try to prolong out lives as long as possible and that any signs of aging will only hurt us in the long run.

In this paper I will discuss a form of prejudice called “Ageism.” Ageism is just like the other “Ism’s”; sexism, racism, atheism. These “Ism’s” all try to discriminate against a culture different from their own. Ageism particularly discriminates against people that are aging, generally anyone over the age of 65, but has been found in some cases as early as 40 years old. Morgan and Kunkel define ageism as “A systematic stereotyping of and discrimination against people because of their age.” (Morgan & Kunkel 2007, Page 11) Hillier and Borrow describe ageism as “An aversion, hatred, and prejudice towards the aged and its manifestation in the form of discrimination on the basis of age.” (Hillier & Borrow, 2010, Page 459) The term “Ageism” was first coined by Robert Butler, the first Director of the National Institute on Ageing, in 1968. Butler believed the term described discrimination towards the elderly.(Hayflick, 1997) After much research I came to find that there any many other definitions for ageism. If you take all the definitions and put them together it basically comes down to stereotyping. People have certain ideas of the elderly and the views are not beneficial towards them. If anything its only makes the situation worse and turns the elderly into their own sub-culture. A study was done in the past that questioned elementary aged children about their thoughts on older people. The research showed that the children only had two views about them, and they either viewed older people as...

References: Aragon. (2006, July 19). Discrimination- against older workers. Retrieved from
Briand. (2009, Febuary 11). Unemployment hit baby boomers. Retrieved from
Hayflick. (1995). How and why we age. NY, NY: Springer Publishing.
Hillier & Barrow. (2010). Aging, the individual, and society. (9 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
McConnell. (2011, October 30). No place to grow old. Retrieved from
Morgan & Kunkel. (2007). Aging, society and the life course. (3 ed., p. 11). NY, NY: Springer Publishing.
Nelson. (2005). Ageism: Prejudice against our feared future self. Journal of Social Issues, 61(2), 207.
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