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Subtyping Ageism: Policy Issues in Succession and Consumption

Author(s): North, Michael S.; Fiske, Susan T.

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Abstract: Ageism research tends to lump “older people” together as one group, as do policy matters that conceptualize everyone over-65 as “senior.” This approach is problematic primarily because it often fails to represent accurately a rapidly growing, diverse, and healthy older population. In light of this, we review the ageism literature, emphasizing the importance of distinguishing between the still-active “young-old” and the potentially more impaired “old-old” (Neugarten, 1974). We argue that ageism theory has disproportionately focused on the old-old and differentiate the forms of age discrimination that apparently target each elder subgroup. In particular, we highlight the young-old’s plights predominantly in the workplace and tensions concerning succession of desirable resources; by contrast, old-old predicaments likely center on consumption of shared resources outside of the workplace. For both social psychological researchers and policymakers, accurately subtyping ageism will help society best accommodate a burgeoning, diverse older population.
Publication Date: Jan-2013
Electronic Publication Date: 7-Jan-2013
Citation: North, Michael S, Fiske, Susan T. (2013). Subtyping Ageism: Policy Issues in Succession and Consumption. Social Issues and Policy Review, 7 (1), 36 - 57. doi:10.1111/j.1751-2409.2012.01042.x
DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1751-2409.2012.01042.x
ISSN: 1751-2395
Pages: 36 - 57
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Social Issues and Policy Review
Version: Author's manuscript

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