Presentation on theme: "AGEISM IN EUROPE WITOLD OSTAFINSKI. THE NOTION AND PHENOMENON OF AGEISM Age discrimination or Ageism is prejudice against people over the age of 50. This."— Presentation transcript:
THE NOTION AND PHENOMENON OF AGEISM Age discrimination or Ageism is prejudice against people over the age of 50. This prejudice may take the form of workplace discrimination, housing discrimination, social discrimination or economic discrimination. Ageism affects elders in every nation in Europe and influences every aspect of an elder’s life. Ageism is the one category of discrimination that has no boundaries. Discrimination against the elderly also occurs in other ways such as, disrespect from younger people, or others viewing them as helpless or incompetent simply because they are elderly.
Purpose The primary purpose of this presentation is to explore attitudes about ageism in a young adult population. The central question surrounding this research is whether young adults ages 18-30 demonstrate ageist attitudes and behaviours towards adults over the age of 55. Why people have misconceptions of the elderly?
Demographics In a survey of 54,988 participants, the European Social Survey (ESS) found that in most countries the end of young adulthood ranged from 30 to 51 years of age. Old age was seen as beginning at anytime between 55 and 66 years of age. 34.5 % thought that ageism was a serious problem in Europe. 53.3 % view older adults as an economic burden and as a burden on the healthcare system.
Workplace Discrimination Age discrimination occurs in every area of the workforce. Many smaller business owners saw older employees as being inflexible in terms of work hours, pay and benefits. Older workers are thought to be incompetent in the use of computers and other office technology. Business owners thought that elders were slow to learn new things.
Use of technology is not the reason why younger workers are preferred over older workers. This preference is guided by social stereotypes and misconceptions such as the view that the elderly are slow to learn new information, incapable of handling modern technology, or unmotivated to do so. These social stereotypes influence ageism in the workplace and allow it to flourish.
Social Discrimination Social discrimination in the media, economic and political discrimination against the elderly are linked. Women are more likely to experience social ageism than men are while men are more likely to be discriminated against economically. „Ageism in and of itself is a form of abuse”.
The Future The main issue seems to be formulating policies on age discrimination that can be agreed upon by every nation within the EU. Ageism is on the rise because many countries in the EU are moving from traditional cultures where being elderly meant an increase in the respect. Younger adults also need to be taught that respect is reciprocal and if they want to be respected by older adults than they will have to learn to respect the elderly. The main reason why the EU has had difficulty in implementing realistic policies is that there are serious issues in defining and conceptualizing what ageism is and how it affects the EU economically and socially. The root cause of ageism lies in how society perceives the elderly.
Conclusion Ageism is a serious issue in the EU. Includes, disrespect towards older adults, promoting stereotypes about older adults and denying them employment, insurance, or access to social welfare services. Ageism can also include physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse of elders. While current policy in the EU is focused on dealing with economic ageism, it is argued that fixing social ageism issues should be the priority as it is social beliefs about older adults that create economic discrimination against older adults.