Ageism: Stereotyping and Prejudice Against Older Persons

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Todd D. Nelson
MIT Press, 2004 - FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS - 372 pages
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Along with race and gender, people commonly use age to categorize -- and form stereotypes about -- others. Of the three categories, age is the only one in which the members of the in-group (the young) will eventually join the out-group (the old). Although ageism is found cross-culturally, it is especially prevalent in the United States, where most people regard growing older with depression, fear, and anxiety. Older people in the United States are stigmatized and marginalized, with often devastating consequences.

Although researchers have paid a great deal of attention to racism and sexism, there has been a dearth of research on ageism. A major reason for this neglect is that age prejudice is still considered socially acceptable. As baby boomers approach retirement age, however, there has been increased academic and popular interest in aging. This volume presents the current thinking on age stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination by researchers in gerontology, psychology, sociology, and communication. The book presents theoretical and empirical findings on the origins and effects of ageism, as well as suggestions on how to reduce ageism for the approaching "graying of America."

 

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Contents

Doddering but Dear Process Content and Function in Stereotyping of Older Persons
3
Ageism Denying the Face of the Future
27
Implicit Ageism
49
A SocialDevelopmental View of Ageism
77
Effects of Ageism
127
Attitudes toward Older Adults
129
Ageism in the Workplace A Communication Perspective
163
Ageist Behavior
201
The Paradox of WellBeing Identity Processes and Stereotype Threat Ageism and Its Potential Relationships to the Self in Later Life
247
Reducing Ageism and Future Directions
275
Acting Your Age
277
Will Families Support Their Elders? Answers From Across Cultures
295
Reducing Ageism
311
Thirty Years of Ageism Research
339
Index
359
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About the author (2004)

Todd D. Nelson is Associate Professor of Social Psychology at California State University, Stanislaus.

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