Contemporary Issues in Gerontology: Promoting Positive Ageing

By V. Minichiello; I. Coulson | Go to book overview

1

The challenges of ageism

Victor Minichiello

Margaret Somerville

Cathryn McConaghy

Jenny McParlane

Alan Scott

No one can doubt that sexism and racism revolutionised the way people and institutions in our society had to rethink relations between dominant groups and women, black and Indigenous people. Women are now found, for example, in large numbers in medical schools and general practitioner (GP) practices, businesses and government. They hold key positions of power such as vice chancellors of universities, chief executive officers of large multi-national corporations, ministerial cabinet positions and so on. Legislation makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, race/ethnicity and sexual orientation (see Chapter 4). Forms of oppressions, such as domestic violence and segregation, have been given public exposure and both legal and political measures have been put in place to reduce the effects of such oppressions on the lives of social minority groups.

Without a doubt the 21st century will see a revolution in terms of the relationship between older people and other age groups and the way society views the status and position of older people. Why is this? Older people are devalued and discriminated against. They will not tolerate this treatment for much longer, especially given that they are growing in numbers and have the potential to be an influential activist group.

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