Demography - Ageism, Modernity and Postmodernity Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Demography - Ageism, Modernity and Postmodernity Deck (15)
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What is ageism?

The negative stereotyping of people based on their age.


What is ageism a consequence of?

An ageing population.


How is old age viewed in modern society?

Identities and status' based on our role in production =

- old people are excluded from production.

- so they have a dependent status and a stigmatised identity.


How is life structured in modern society?

On fixed stages (youth, adult, old, etc).

- people generate age-related identities; pupil, worker, pensioner.

- old are excluded and become dependent.


How is the 'fixed life stages' of modern societies different in postmodern societies?

They are broken down =

- e.g. children dressing as adults, late marriage, early retirement, etc.


How are our identities different in postmodern societies to modern societies?

Consumption is key to our identities, not production.

- we define ourselves by what we consume.


What does Hunt (2005) argue about identities in postmodern societies?

Due to greater choice, we can choose our identities regardless of our age.


What is the impact from greater choice in postmodern societies?

- They become central to consumerism (e.g. markets aimed at them).

- This includes; anti-ageism products, gym memberships and cosmetic surgery.


How is old age stigmatised in postmodern societies?

1). Products aimed to reduce appearances of old age


How does postmodern societies undermine the idea that old age is a stigmatised life stage?

1). Media =

portray positive lifestyles of the elderly.

2). Products =

allow the old to 'write new identities'.


What does Pilcher (1995) argue about inequalities among the old?

Such as class and gender =

- based on their previous occupation.


What are the class inequalities among the old?

M/C =

- greater pension, savings from higher salaries.

- can remain looking young.

W/C =

- lower salaries = lower life expectancy and less able to maintain youthful self-identy.


What are the gender inequalities among the old?

Women =

- lower pensions from having a lower paid job.

- subject to sexist ("old hags") and ageist stereotypes.


What is the percentage of people suffering age discrimination?

Age Concern (2004) =



Criticise the postmodernist view?

They understate the importance of these inequalities.

- they are structural issues and they play a major part in shaping the experience of old people.