Negative Effects Of Ageism

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Ageism is a form of discrimination that affects almost every individual at some point in their life, whether it be in the work place or at the grocery store. Most examples of ageism are negative, often depicting the elderly as deteriorating, forgetful, or incompetent. Examples which characterize the elderly as "cute," although seemingly harmless, are still cases which overgeneralize the elderly population (Whitbourne & Whitbourne, 2011, p. 28). Ageism is often seen in popular media through greetings cards, comic strips, and advertisements (Snyder-Rivas, 2015, Lesson 2 Commentary). Greeting cards, specifically birthday cards, provide the largest variety of ageist stereotypes, both positive and negative. One of the most common ageist stereotypes…show more content…
The greeting card which depicts this stereotype shows two elderly men having a conversation. One man makes a comment to the other, who completely misinterprets the original message because he is hard of hearing. Ageism can be found in this example because it is an overgeneralization about the elderly losing their hearing with age (Whitbourne & Whitbourne, 2011, p. 28). I do not believe in this stereotype because losing one's hearing is something that happens to some elderly individuals, but not every individual in the…show more content…
The greeting card showing this stereotype tells a story of an elderly women who is on the phone with her husband. Her husband calls to alert her that there has been a report of someone driving the wrong way on the interstate. The woman explains that it is not just one car driving the wrong way, it's hundreds. This example is made to show that the woman, in fact, was driving the wrong way. This is an example of ageism because it attempts to illustrate that the elderly are easily confused, bad drivers. This example exemplifies bad driving as a certain characteristic with a negative social meaning (Whitbourne & Whitbourne, 2011, p. 28). I think that this stereotype is true to certain extent, however, like all stereotypes, cannot be applied to all elderly individuals. There are some elderly individuals who are good drivers, and some who are bad drivers. I believe that is it unfair to group an entire population into a category not everyone fits into. Everyone will more than likely experience ageism in some form because everyone inevitably grows old. Both positive and negative, ageist stereotypes continue to gain popularity as the media attempts to find humor in aging. One possible reason why ageism might exist is because people are afraid of death and dying and making fun of some of the side effects of growing old helps them cope (Whitbourne & Whitbourne, 2011, p. 28). Regardless of why ageism exists,
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