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Ageism--K.Raines - Page Text Content

BC: Work Cited Photo 1: Portrait of Senior Woman; Date unknown; Keith Levit; 42-40031143; Photo 2: Portrait of a man with beard, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India; May 03, 2012; Keren Su; 42-4294389; Photo 3: Elderly Inuit woman; Date unknown; Arctic-Images; 42-42967812; Photo 4: Studio portrait of eld;erly man; Date unknown; Mareen Fischinger; 42-37297850; Photo 5: Elderly Hands Pouring Pill from Bottle; Date unknown; Tom Grill; 42-15293983; Photo 6: Elderly man in hospital; Date unknown; VStock LLC; 42-24723400; Photo 7: Girl And Grandmother, Cheek To Cheek, Close-up, Partial View; Date unknown; Laurence Mouton; 42-20712784; Photo 8: Close-up of senior man laughing and looking down; Date unknown; Photographer unknown; 42-39821294; Photo 9: Baby playing with toy blocks; Date unknown; Photographer unknown; 42-37019467; Photo 10: Studying Hard; Date unknown; Photographer unknown; 42-67832055; Photo 11: Retirement Age Man on Sailboat; Date unknown; Photographer unknown; 42-42901094;

FC: Ageism | 1 | 2 | 3

1: Age is a word that describes not only a biological classification but a social classification as well. On the social level, we have definite expectations about the meaning of age, our understanding of it, and our responses to it. Age divides acceptable behavior for different social groups: voting rights, age 18, legal to consume alcohol, age 21, ability to rent a car, age 25, eligible to run for president, age 35, eligibility to receive social security, age 65, etc. These are all examples of formal age norms- how a society defines what is considered appropriate by age.

2: Since aging is a normal stage of life I wonder why we choose to discriminate against what we will eventually become. The systematic stereotyping and discrimination against people because they are old is defined as ageism. Ageism is perpetrated for a variety of reasons. | 4

3: One reason the elderly are discriminated against and discounted is because the higher cost of health care for their age group. It is true that elderly Americans, who constitute 13% of our population, consume more than 35% of total health expenditures. The fact that the elderly consume more than four times what is spent on younger people causes resentment and discrimination by younger generations. | 5 | 6

4: Ageism has a major effect on older Americans in the workplace in respects to both being hired for a job and also being promoted in a current job. Research indicates that older applicant's whose qualifications are equal to younger applicants are less likely to be hired. It has also been proven that older workers are not offered the same promotion opportunities, training, or compensation as younger workers. Rather than valuing older workers for their work habits, skills, and performance, more often older workers are looked at as inflexible, unwilling to adapt to new technology, and more expensive (because of insurance cost) then younger workers. | 7

5: A final example of ageism is the stereotyping of older adults as less capable, fragile, weak and frail. When treated as less valuable members of society older adults can suffer from social isolation, dependency and lowered self esteem- all of which can lead to depression. Older women are especially vulnerable than men to this type of age discrimination. In our culture women are judged according to their appearance and beauty whereas men are judged according to what they can do. As we age women are expected to keep their youthful looks but men are just considered distinguished with their gray hair and wrinkles. | 8

6: The functionalist perspective states that age helps maintain the stability of society by providing a set of roles and expectations for each particular age group or for a particular life stage. Children attend school and are protected by their families, after school is work or higher education, then adults are expected to find a career and build a meaningful life, lastly is retirement from both the workplace and society in general. | 9 | 10 | 11

7: I believe the problem with ageism today is that we do not take into consideration that the definition of elderly has changed. Improved medical care and longer life spans have expanded a person's work and societal contributions past the old timeline age of 65. In other words younger generations are pushing the elderly out too soon and they use ageism to accomplish this. The answer to solving ageism is to realize that individuals should be judged on their skills and accomplishments not just the number of years they have been alive.

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  • By: Kayce R.
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  • Title: Ageism--K.Raines
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