The New (Malevolent) Ageism

The Huffington Post:

America is a rapidly graying society. This demographic trend has been underway for a while — and anticipated for a long while — yet some of its implications are just now coming into focus. Most notably, the aging of America will almost certainly trigger a retirement crisis, with elderly boomers competing for limited financial and medical resources — and working longer just to stay afloat.

The elderly have never been honored in American society. They have more often been stereotyped, stigmatized and pitied as outdated and weak, both physically and mentally. And according to Princeton University psychological scientist Susan Fiske, this unfair ageist stereotyping could become even darker with the new influx of seniors. Fiske predicts the emergence of new, prescriptive stereotypes — stereotypes that dictate what seniors should and should not do in an era of scarce resources. These new stereotypes will likely be more hostile than what we’ve known so far, and what’s more, they will be wielded mostly by the young in an acrimonious generational conflict.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

See Susan Fiske at the 25th APS Annual Convention.

Wray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology.

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