Stereotypes about older people--as in the case of other groups, such as
Blacks and women--allow us to treat the elderly as less than fully human. As
a result, we might proceed to strip older people of jobs, financial power, status, and even civil rights with less guilt than we otherwise might feel.
I want to thank Carol Hollenshead, Director of the Center for the Education of
Women at the University of Michigan, for her work on an early version of this material.
Conversely, lack of action can also be rationalized. An example is the idea that
victims of crime, young or old, deserved what they got because they were, in some
way, careless or did something that invited the action. If we hold this view, then it
does not become necessary for us to compensate victims.
As a partial recompense, the Harris data were recalculated, permitting us to see
a more detailed age breakdown than was given in the published version.
This ranking occurs even as the percentage of chronic illness increases. However, reference group considerations are important here.
Recent in this context is related to the time the question was asked, in 1976.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Does America Hate the Poor?The Other American Dilemma: Lessons for the 21st Century from the 1960s and the 1970s.
Contributors: John E. Tropman - Author.
Publisher: Praeger Publishers.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 1998.
Page number: 105.
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