Ageism Essay

563 Words3 Pages
Nowadays, the number of elders is increasing because of the improvement in the standards of living and scientific technology. However, people tend to underestimate older people and habitually consider elders to be stubborn, dependent, and emotional. Ageism, built upon these stereotypes, is a serious problem in modern society. “Ageism is negative attitudes, beliefs and conceptions of the nature and characteristics of older persons that are based on age that distort their actual characteristics and abilities” (Social Gerontology, p.39). Like sexism and racism, ageism is defined as systematic stereotyping and discrimination because of age, according to professor P. Hsu (personal communication, October 1, 2012). Stereotyping, which may be positive or negative, is composed of ideas and beliefs that attributed to people as a group or social category. Discrimination, which is commonly found in workplace, is action taken and behavior based on stereotypes that limit a person’s opportunities. While ageism is hard to detect, it is also hard to eliminate. It actually affects our society in different aspects. “Older people have been limited in their access to activities such as jobs in high-tech fields or stigmatized in long-term care facilities if they express their needs for intimacy” (Social Gerontology, p4). Many fledgling companies are still expanding so they do not wish to hire an individual who will retire soon. Because of the limited opportunities in workforce, elders begin to suffer from financial difficulties, which indirectly make them the burden of society. Ageism is especially harmful to women, who become less significant in status when they grow old. The bonding sisterhood between younger women and older women also becomes rare. Ageist attitudes have tremendous impact on individuals as well. People who have negative attitudes for ageist attitudes live shorter

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