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Monday, October 1, 2012

Analyzing Ageism[i]

      This blog is dedicated to the study of the lives of older persons.   Ageism is presented and discussed frequently. All of those articles are important and published by researchers who seek make life better for seniors.  Since ageing is a process that all of us go through, it is important that we and those around us, both younger and older, have a clear understanding of by ageism means and what we can do about it.
       Yes, perhaps this is just a dream. After all, sexism and racism still exist but do they have to exist forever?  Is it “normal” to be prejudiced? Over time there have been several definitions of ageism.
      The authors of this article, listed below, give us the following definition of ageism.
      “ Ageism is defined as negative or positive stereotypes, prejudice and/or discrimination against (or to the advantage of) elderly people on the basis of their chronological age or on the basis of a perception of them as being ‘old’ or ‘elderly’. Ageism can be implicit or explicit and can be expressed on a micro-meso- or macro-meso level.”
      “The concept includes the classic social psychological components in the form of; 1) cognitive (stereotypes), 2) affective (prejudice), 3) and a behavioral component (discrimination), in other words how we on the basis of chronological age or age categorization mistakenly; 1) think of, 2) feel for,  3) and act out on the aging human being. 
Furthermore, ageism can operate both consciously (explicitly) and unconsciously (implicitly) and it can manifest itself on three different levels; the individual (micro-level), in social networks (meso-level) and on institutional and cultural level (macro level)

[i] Iverson, T.N., Larsen, L. & Solem, P.E. (2009).  A Conceptual Analysis of             Ageism. Nordic Psychology, Vol 61(3), 4-22   DOI  1027/1901-2276.61.3.4

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