ageism Essay

1165 WordsNov 12, 20085 Pages
AGEISM According to the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA, 2008), ageism is a term coined by Dr. Robert Butler in 1969. He said that “Ageism allows the younger generations to see older people as different than themselves; thus they subtly cease to identify with their elders as human beings.” It involves treating people older people in a different and unequal manner because of their age. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (2008) describes "ageism" as two concepts. First, it is “a socially constructed way of thinking about older persons based on negative attitudes and stereotypes about aging.” Second, it is “a tendency to structure society based on an assumption that everyone is young, thereby failing to respond appropriately to the real needs of older persons.” Furthermore, the Ontario Human Rights Code forbids age discrimination in “employment, housing accommodation, goods, services and facilities, contracts and membership in trade and vocational associations.” You may have noticed that age discrimination is not taken as seriously as other forms of discrimination and that some people probably never even heard of such a thing being in existence. However it does exist and can have economic, social and psychological effects similar to discrimination of other types, if not worst. Living in Ontario, I’ve personally witnessed ageism in retail stores. Certain clothing stores for example don’t hire people of certain age groups. For example stores like Le Chateau and Urban Behaviour carry clothing for young men and women, so you tend to see employees of the younger age group. My neighbour, Mme. DesJardins, was qualified and had about 20 years of retail experience, but according to her she didn’t even get an interview at Le Chateau. She said the only reason she could think of was her age. On the other hand, in stores like the Bay, you tend to

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