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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Connecting Ageism and Retirement[i]

         “Fixed age retirement is often justified because older workers are seen as less desirable than young, being perceived as less efficient and less well educated, with declining physical and mental capacities. However all evidence suggests that older workers are more reliable than younger workers and are just as capable in timed tasks; older workers often have skills lacked by the young.”
         “Retirement is often justified because pensions, both state and occupational, provide income opportunities not available to the young.  This again is an essentially ageist position because pensions rarely match earnings from employment.”
         “The creation of the concept of retirement is linked to four distinct features of a given society:  economic productivity, organizational sophistication, social attitudes and social conditions.”
         During a  “…time of economic depression, there was a widespread discrimination against older workers in the labour market.
Older workers were “… caught in a situation of shrinking job opportunities and decreased demand for their particular skills.   During the great depression “Pensions, both occupational and state financed, were seen as a legitimate way of excluding older workers from the job market…” 
         Further more “There is clear evidence that older people experience discrimination in assessing care and in the quality of care provided, and those differing groups within older age groups.”
         If what we read and hear lately in the news about "economic downturn" is accurate, older persons about to retire or those of us who are already retired better increase awareness of ageist attitudes growing about us.

[i] Material for this blog entry was taken from Christina Victor (2005). The social             Context of Ageing: A Textbook of Gerontology. Routlege Taylour & Francis Group 
ISBN 0-415-22140-4

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