Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Ableism and Ageism

  • Håkan  JönsonEmail author
  • Annika Taghizadeh Larsson
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_581-1


Since Robert N. Butler (1969) introduced the term ageism to research, a number of attempts to define and conceptualize the phenomenon have been proposed (Iversen et al. 2009). Most have followed Butler in defining ageism as prejudice and discrimination based on age, with older people as the victimized category (See “Self reported ageism”). Some definitions describe ageism as affecting people of all ages, and in fact, investigations show that younger people are most affected by negative treatment that they ascribe to their age (Bratt et al. 2018). The definitional ambiguity has resulted in confusion on the causes of ageism; it is likely that different types of dynamics are present for persons of different ages. The present text will focus on ageism – and ableism – as a problem for older people.

The concept of ageism has been used to cover a wide range of phenomena, from skewed knowledge and intolerant values to attitudes and behaviors toward older people. Ageism has been...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Department of Social and Welfare StudiesLinköping UniversityNorrköpingSweden

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sheri R. Levy
    • 1
  1. 1.Stony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA