Three decades of research on ageism

  • Palmore E
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The article focuses on the author's views and experiences regarding ageism. He reflects that his research on ageism has its roots in his research on racism. He says that when he started teaching courses on race relations and aging, he could notice how similar the level of stereotypes about the blacks were to those about the old people. This insight forced him to do research on ageist stereotypes. As part of this research he began to collecting jokes about aging and analyzed the stereotypes they reflected. With the analyzes of the jokes, the author concludes that the majority of humor about the aged shows ageist attitudes showing ambivalence and very little shows positive attitudes. It reflects that certain stereotypes tend to predominate the loss of physical or mental abilities, loss of attractiveness, loss of sexual ability or interest and age concealment. It also reveals that the expressions of humor about old women tend to be more common and more negative than those about old men. It also suggests that the humor about aging may have several different functions, some positive and some negative.

Author-supplied keywords

  • AGE discrimination
  • OLD age
  • OLDER people
  • SOCIAL perception
  • STEREOTYPES (Social psychology)

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  • SGR: 30344438500
  • PMID: 19399890
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-30344438500
  • ISBN: 07387806
  • PUI: 43060574
  • ISSN: 07387806


  • Erdman Palmore

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