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During the recession, older people lost some of the financial advantages that they’d gained in the 1980s and 1990s. From October 2007 to October 2009 the values of retirement accounts for people over age fifty lost 18 percent of their value. The sharp decline in the stock market also forced many to delay their retirement (Administration on Aging 2009).

Ageism

Five sets of road signs, the top one green and the bottom one red in each set, are shown along the right-hand side of a road in a desert setting. The green signs all read “Senior Center” and feature an arrow pointing left. The blue signs, from front to back, read “Don’t Forget,” “Remember to [u]Turn![/u]”, “Wake Up!”, “Lunch Only $4,” and “Turn Now.”
Are these street signs humorous or offensive? What shared assumptions make them humorous? Or is memory loss too serious to be made fun of? (Photo courtesy of Tumbleweed/flickr)

Driving to the grocery store, Peter, twenty-three years old, got stuck behind a car on a four-lane main artery through his city’s business district. The speed limit was thirty-five miles per hour, and while most drivers sped along at forty to forty-five mph, the driver in front of him was going the minimum speed. Peter tapped on his horn. He tailgated the driver. Finally, Peter had a chance to pass the car. He glanced over. Sure enough, Peter thought, a gray-haired old man guilty of “DWE,” driving while elderly.

At the grocery store, Peter waited in the checkout line behind an older woman. She paid for her groceries, lifted her bags of food into her cart, and toddled toward the exit. Peter, guessing her to be about eighty years old, was reminded of his grandmother. He paid for his groceries and caught up with her.

“Can I help you with your cart?” he asked.

“No, thank you. I can get it myself,” she said and marched off toward her car.

Peter’s responses to both older people, the driver and the shopper, were prejudiced. In both cases, he made unfair assumptions. He assumed the driver drove cautiously simply because the man was a senior citizen, and he assumed the shopper needed help carrying her groceries just because she was an older woman.

Responses like Peter’s toward older people are fairly common. He didn’t intend to treat people differently based on personal or cultural biases, but he did. Ageism is discrimination (when someone acts on a prejudice) based on age. Dr. Robert Butler coined the term in 1968, noting that ageism exists in all cultures (Brownell). Ageist attitudes and biases based on stereotypes reduce elderly people to inferior or limited positions.

Ageism can vary in severity. Peter’s attitudes are probably seen as fairly mild, but relating to the elderly in ways that are patronizing can be offensive. When ageism is reflected in the workplace, in healthcare, and in assisted-living facilities, the effects of discrimination can be more severe. Ageism can make older people fear losing a job, feel dismissed by a doctor, or feel a lack of power and control in their daily living situations.

In early societies, the elderly were respected and revered. Many preindustrial societies observed gerontocracy    , a type of social structure wherein the power is held by a society’s oldest members. In some countries today, the elderly still have influence and power and their vast knowledge is respected. Reverence for the elderly is still a part of some cultures, but it has changed in many places because of social factors.

Questions & Answers

What does law in a society mean
Alisha Reply
Are u a nurse
Thabsile
What is socialization
Thabsile
socialization, is the behavioural process of human to adopt or acceptable in their various societies.From Moses Ebena
Hitmos
Which human being bcme social being
Lukman
I'm writing paper 2 bridging course final year so it also includes sociology plz help guys
Thabsile
difference between urban and rural areas
Thabsile
What is cultural inertia?
Thabsile
factors contributing to cultural inertia?
Thabsile
Culture is a way of of people life
Lukman
ottways says that.... what in ur whole life that is cultue
Shah
law in a society mean rule of governing authority that allow and forbid the said acts.answer is for Alisha
Imtiyaz
what is social stratification plx give me answer
yasir
social stratification means social differentiation based on occupation, social status
Imtiyaz
what is society
yasir Reply
society means any geographical area where group of people share equal practice of living activities culture and other aspects
Imtiyaz
yes
Darlene
Or it is a group of persons,sharing self-sufficient system of action that is capable of lasting longer than the life span of any individual
Omar
sociology, deal on society,human social interaction with separate people and not only as individuals, for example school, churches and associations.
Hitmos
what does mean rationality according to j.habermas
Shah
oh wow im just realizing theres a chat forum 😯
Tyrone
what is the relevance of sociology
Alqaseem Reply
hi
Nath
hi
noumbisi
hello
Marc
how do u do?
noumbisi
hiiii
yasir
Hi, good evening. please can someone help me emphasized more on that religion?
Nath Reply
As sociologist we endorse anything that supports the continuity of society and harmonize the society and its elements is good... We don't really worry about the authenticity of its origin... If you have studies the sociological perspectives you will know that there are different views on religion..
look what each classical theorist have said about religion...
what is a religion
Zahid Reply
ll grade sociology ga notes h k
Sunil
Religion involve those things which surpasses the limit of our knowledge.
shoaib
religion is believe it one God
DAVE
What is Social Psychology? and why social psychology?
WILLIAM Reply
learn about the people and understand there need to live in society what there basic need and learning institutions
Ghulammurtaza
Social Psychology deals with the study of individual as part of a group or communty and how they affect each other.
Sadiq
behavior study of humans are there institutions are social psychology but if they are study about society that means the learn about there living structure
Ghulammurtaza
social psychology means it formed after combined sociology and psychology and itis new descipline.
salem
social psychology study behavior reference society
Rajesh
what is sociology?
Omeneke Reply
It's a field of study which studies about human Society... (to make you more clear... the psychology studies single individual where as sociology studies group of individual who forms society)
sociology is study of socity
Sadia
not only study but it study with scientific method and sociological approach
Rajesh
rite #rajesh sosa
Sadia
thanks
Rajesh
hey help me defining sociological guru's ideas
luther
what is culture
Nandala Reply
what is urbanisation
Nandala
What are the weaknesses of the conflict theory
Skeazo Reply
a person who's combination of a particular culture and ethics has a great influence on his personality.
Habibu Reply
ok
Kenneth
what is the main differences between social loafing and social facilitation
godfrey
popuation education major areas
Rakesh Reply
plx i need a better definition of culture
Alqaseem
culture, according to E. B. Tylor (1921), is defined as a complex whole which include knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, laws,customs , and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society
Adesola
what is orientalists anyone define pls
Anand
hello, I have my sociology exam gcse next Monday and I am so stressed, can anyone give me an advice of how to revise better and lower the stress 😭
Adry Reply
what level are you in the university
raymond
Before i say something
raymond
while we await your response, studies proof that psychology speaks more to condition of such. It concern sociologist most if you talk about culture, values, family, groups, organizations, society etc and not more of single individual/mind. However, tell us your level.
William
I'm in college not uni
Adry
good evening, how did sociology people behave
chukwuka Reply
They are social thinkers.And they adapt to any situation they found themselves.Also,they study in accordance,how the society behaved.For eg,the problem of Nigeria,Boko Haram etc,which is a social problem
raymond
mean that sociology people can stop the Boko Haram issues
chukwuka
As a social thinker,you can proffer solutions to stop this mess in the northern east
raymond
Raymond you are truely a sociologist
cynthia
am just 100level students, I find myself that I don't like talking too much to people, I always like still on my own way of life, is good for a sociology students
chukwuka
According to Peter Berger the people who should “stay away” from sociology are the people that can’t take a diversity of truths, people who are afraid to discover that there is something beyond what is taught to them, people that don’t have the drive to understand that society has many different...
perspectives from which it can be understood and it all depends on where you are standing. People who are used to things being the same all the time and are afraid of change..
If you feel that you fit in... Go ahead...
who is the father of Indian sociology?
The Reply
govind sadashiv
Imtiyaz
how does a sociologist do think critically
abdulaziz Reply
what does a medical sociologist is all about
abdulaziz

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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