"Our lives are defined by ageing: the ages at which we can learn to drive, vote, have sex, buy a house or retire, get a pension, travel by bus for free. More subtle are the implicit boundaries that curtail our lives: the “safe” age to have children, the “experience” needed to fill the boss’s role, the physical strength needed for some jobs. Society is continually making judgements about when you are old enough for something – and when you are too old." (Age Concern England, 2005)
In 1969, Butler coined the term "ageism" describing prejudices against other age groups (Tornstam, 2006). While prejudice based on ethnicity or gender has been studied extensively, prejudice based on age is an aspect that has been in the focus of comparatively few research projects (Nelson, 2005). Freire states that compared with gender, ethnicity or disability, age discrimination is a "silent type of discrimination" as the emotions attached to it are less powerful. In addition, a specific sense of inferiority is constructed ... the inefficient, sick old person that is not capable to learn anything (Sofica, 2012).
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Age Concern England (2005) How Ageist is Britain? via
Sofica, A. (2012) The social network of actors influencing age discrimination in the human resources recruiting process. Eastern Journal of European Studies, 3(1), 169-188
Nelson, T. D. (2005) Ageism: Prejudice Against Our Feared Future Self. Journal of Social Issues, 61(2), 207-221
Tornstam, L. (2006) The Complexity Typology. International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 1(1), 43-68
Photo of "world's oldest supermodel" Daphne Selfe via