Many researchers develop ideas that shape the perspectives of individuals towards topical issues, with the hope of influencing their thoughts towards life. In the world today, people encounter various challenges that develop their attitude towards life. Ageism: Prejudice Against Our Feared Future Self by Todd Nelson is one of those studies that provoke the thought process of individuals by exposing them to an enabling environment where they encounter various aspects that change their view of life. Nelson uses theories to advance certain viewpoints that enable one to reflect on their interactions with the senior population. Even though the different classifications bring out a broad view of life, individuals are involved in numerous activities that promote their understanding of what it entails.
Issues Addressed in the Study
In the U.S. and any other developed economy, the elderly population is discriminated against and viewed as unproductive, despite their impact on the economy during their youthful stage. Subsequent generations have a total disregard for the senior community, an aspect that conflicts the rules of social existence. The absence of many studies that focus on institutional ageism is a manifestation of the society’s approach in solving problems that affect the people. Nelson believes that many researchers have intentionally ignored ageism because they complied with the societal belief and value system that ignores the plight of the older people in their immediate environment.
Prejudice demonstrates the personal attitude held by individuals towards a different population group. At any given time, young people will dissociate from the elderly because of their varied views of life. While many of the senior citizens deserve constant attention from their loved ones because of their limited mobility, they are mostly ignored and left to the mercy of care facilities and homes (Nelson, 2005). Through the socially approved methods of life, many people now believe that getting old is terrible, an aspect that compels individuals to alter their age during birthdays. Since everyone wants to stay young, the prevailing perspective towards the elderly is affected.
Nelson uses the functional perspective and terror management theories to highlight the manifestation of ageism in the world today. Apart from elderly abuse and the use of patronizing language when interacting with the senior citizens, the effects of pseudo positive attitudes on older people have been addressed candidly by Nelson. In line with the functional perspective model, young people protect their egos by being either friendly or overly caring during their interactions with the aged population. In the same vein, the terror management concept indicates that culture imposes a world order that compels individuals to adhere to certain societal beliefs and values that dictate their approaches when interacting with older adults. By analyzing these aspects outlined by Nelson, people understand the measures they should embrace during their interactions with the aged.
Even though the different classifications bring out a broad view of life, individuals are involved in numerous activities that promote their understanding of what it entails. On many occasions, the aged encounter a series of challenges that are caused by their interactions with those in their immediate environment. Nelson develops a unique perspective that indicates why many researchers have shunned from focusing on institutionalized ageism, despite their interest in gender and racism issues. In this article, Nelson relies heavily on theoretical perspectives to demonstrate how ageism is manifested in the world today.
Nelson, T. D. (2005). Ageism: Prejudice against our feared future self. Journal of social issues, 61(2), 207-221.