Ageism and age categorization

Bytheway, Bill (2005). Ageism and age categorization. Journal of Social Issues, 61(2) pp. 361–374.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.2005.00410.x

Abstract

Two approaches to defining ageism are discussed. The signficance of chronological age, both for bureaucratic procedures and for research, is considered. This demonstrates how birthdays are associated not just with changing status regading employment and retirement, but also cultural transformations. The relevance of research based on age categories is critically discussed. It is argued that, while such research provides essential evidence of ageism, it inevitably tends to homogenize, particulary when open-ended 'oldest' categories are used. The article concludes with a discussion of four alternative frameworks.

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