Language And Age - Ageism

1582 Words7 Pages
Ageism is a prejudice in which people are categorized and judged solely on the basis of their chronological age. Our western culture has embedded to ageism into our lives, and we may not be able to identify, ageist behavior when it occurs. Older adults are frequently given negative labels such as: senile, sad, lonely, poor, sexless, ill dependent and disabled. It is inevitable that we will experience decline in physical and mental capacities. However the timing quality and degree of the ageing process are highly variable and very different for each individual. General assumptions and stereotypes about aging are harmful to individual senior adults and do not benefit society. What is ageism and how is it perpetuated, what is the general link between the gender ageism and the language and ageism are issues that are still not well introduced in the society. Today more often the ageism is broadly defined as any prejudice or discrimination against or in favour of an age group .It is manifested in many negative ageisms: infirm, unprotected, senile, dirty, cranky, childish. Institutionally companies, health care system, and welfare funds only confirm to a larger extent how has the ageism entered in the modern society. Health care system is youth centered rather than adult centered choosing the acute care over chronic care. Businesses are being even more radical in reinforcement of stereotype of choosing only young workers. Welfare systems are nothing but children and adolescents focused excluding the services for older adults. The most common negative myths and stereotypes about ageing mentioned are; illnesses impotency, ugliness, mental decline, mental illness, uselessness, isolation, poverty, depression and political power. Illnesses are prejudices that are related to older people but incorrectly and unjustified as this group is in general fairly healthy.
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