Ageism is a type of discrimination that involves prejudice against people based upon their age. Similar to racism and sexism, ageism involves holding negative stereotypes about people of different ages. The term ageism was first used by gerontologist Robert N. Butler to describe the discrimination of older adults. Today, the tern is often applied to any type of age-based discrimination, whether it involves prejudice against children, teenagers, adults or senior-citizens.
Manifestations of ageism are frequently cited in workplace situations, where it can lead to pay disparities or difficulty finding employment. Younger adults may have difficulty finding jobs and receive lower pay due to their perceived lack of experience, while older adults may have problems achieving promotions, finding new work and changing careers.
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Loretto, W., Duncan, C., & White, P.J. (2000). Ageism and employment: Controversies, ambiguities, and younger people’s perceptions. Ageing & Society, 20(3), 279-302.