Ageism And Prejudice

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This paper will examine the issue of Prejudice. It will also access the reasons why its impact is lasting and almost impossible to eradicate. Prejudice is a cultural attitude based on stereotypes toward groups and individuals who may be racially, religiously or culturally different. This is partly due to preconceived notion, opinion, and attitude formed beforehand without knowledge or resulting for misinformation. A prejudice can take on positive and negative forms. However, even a ‘positive’ form of prejudice is not socially ideal. We will delve deeper and discuss the reasons why later into my essay. I will discuss areas where prejudice commonly takes shape such as nationalism. We will also explore unconventional forms such as exclusionary…show more content…
At the heart of it, ageism is prejudice on the grounds of a person’s age. This is more prevalent against older persons often deem as debilitated. We will be exploring the elements perpetuating ageism – pop culture and organisations. Ageist attitudes are perpetuated by popular culture who decries the advancement of age. On TV programmes and on (both traditional and new methods of) advertisements, there is a serious problem of portraying the elderly in a less ideal manner. You only need to walk into a novelty shop to find celebratory birthday cards for 30 year olds in contrast to those making sarcastic age-related jokes on cards for 60 year olds. Although it can be argued that this celebratory cards example is not a weighted reflection of attitudes towards ageism, we need to keep in mind that popular culture is pervasive enough to subtly influence the mind-set of the general public. From mere jokes on cards, it escalates into the widespread use of demeaning language. Terms like “dirty old man” and “old goat” are not new to us. Another engine of ageist attitudes is organisations. Businesses reinforce stereotypes by not promoting or hiring older workers. Due to the beliefs that majority of older people are disabled by some degree of physical or mental illness, hiring departments conclude that older workers are not suited for continued working and that those who choose to work are less productive. This belief has…show more content…
These are challenges presented by modes of verbal communication. The way we utilise language is exclusionary in nature. Exclusionary language is language that reveals prejudice in some form. It can either be implicit or explicit but it will leave out a group. It signals to the group that they are seen as less important and feelings of contempt can fester. Over time, it can disenchant others to the extent that any communication with them will invariably occur from a point of unfriendliness. One reason why exclusionary language can be difficult to avoid is it is ingrained into language conventions like pronoun usage where masculine pronouns exist. Its impact is also lasting, because of frequent use. Many role labels have a gender attached to them - examples are policemen, pilots and air stewardess. Equivocal language – language of multiple interpretations – becomes especially problematic when it is being used by people from differing racial and cultural groups to communicate. Since the meaning of a sentence is very much up for any interpretation, the recipient of a message might become confused and understand it differently from what was intended. Gender and race prejudice present in the language system is impossible to eradicate. With so many different languages, we would have to first overcome the goliath of a challenge by remaking them all before implementation and changing mind-sets can

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