Fears About Ageing and Old Age: The Root of Negative Attitudes Toward Older People

Ageism, a form of prejudice and discrimination based on age, was originally formulated by the psychiatrist Robert Neil Butler in 1969 to refer specifically to prejudicial attitudes toward older people, old age, and the ageing process; discrimination against older people; and the stereotyping of older people. Nowadays, ageism applies as a general term for prejudices about — and discrimination against — people based on age, so children, adolescents, and young people can feel the brunt of it as well. However, ageism is particularly pronounced among older people and this is why Butler originally devised ageism to refer to discrimination against seniors.

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Originally published at https://www.samwoolfe.com on January 5, 2021.

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