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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Conceptual Analysis of Ageism #1

                                            Conceptual Analysis of Ageism[1]

A broad definition of Ageism

Ageism is defined as negative and positive stereotypes, prejudice and/or discrimination against (or 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-level.

The concept includes the classic social psychological components in the form of 1) cognitive (stereotypes). 2) affective (prejudice), 3) and behavioral components (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 on the aging human being.
Furthermore, ageism can operate both consciously (explicitly) and unconsciously (implicitly) and it can manifest itself on three different levels, individual (micro-level), in social networks (meso-level) and on institutional and cultural level (macro) level).  As a consequence the definition contains the following key dimensions.

The three classic components (cognitive, affective, and behavioral)

1.    The positive / negative aspect (positive and negative ageism)

2.    The conscious /unconscious aspect (implicit and explicit ageism

3.    The typological division of levels (ageism on micro- meso- and macro-level

[1]  By Iversen, Thomas Nicolaj; Larsen, Lars; Solem, Per Erik, Nordic Psychology,  Vol  61(3), Nov 2009,  4-22

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