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Lecture 13

Lecture 13 Strategies for change: Women – the claim for categorical rights 1) Changes in the public sphere a) Job qualifications and postings b) Pay equity c) Employment equity law d) Sexual harassment law Results of the fight against systemic discr

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1910
Dorathy Moore

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1210 Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Paternalism/patriarchy: ageism
Assumption - inferior
Invalidation myths - weaker, slower, less productive
Invalidation ideology - ageism, disengagement theory
Policy - relegation to the private sphere: retirement: institutionalization
Outcome - created dependency (on the state): class based systemic inequality
May be differences in ethno-culture groups, way seniors dealt with, can better/worse for them in terms of quality of life
Patriarchy and Senior Citizens
1) Definition of ageism
Not just targeted at 65+, will use it for this lecture
Stereotyping & discrimination against people on basis of age
o It does not refer solely refer to those “old”, don’t restrict to older ages, can be young as well
o Any age person can engage in it, children, young, middle aged to old
Category itself engages in ageism minority
o Evidence that majority or dominant groups stereotype have become adopted by minority members as self-definition
o Like other stereotypes, based on least desirable attributes, small proportion of population in question
Stereotypes masking the differences
Ageism different to other “-isms”, most ageists, will in fact grow old themselves
o Roburgh suggests: condemning themselves to an imagined fate
o Other isms seem socially unacceptable, but ageism does
We advocate old should retire to make room for young intergenerational conflict
o Like other conflicts/competitions, it is over resources jobs
o Much of latter half of 20th century & beginning of 21st: issue of competing rights rights of old to remain in labour
force & right of younger workers to jobs, often passed in that light, it isn’t really the case
o Possible eco circumstances, downsize old but not replaced w/young, occurred twice in Canada a jobless recovery
On avg men live till 77 & women 84, phenomenon: 1) medical improvement, 2) standard of living, 3) lower birth rate
o For some cultures, advanced age = wisdom, value old citizens elders like First Nations
o Not all societies are as discouraging of the old as Euro-North Americans, more European based
Argue: Although age norms can serve positive functions in our societies, age norms can be very detrimental b/c based on
stereotypes that apply getting old = uselessness, no longer work & incompetent, being unproductive, non-contributing
o Implication: if retired, you are doing nothing BUT that is not true seniors do an enormous amount of volunteer
work & that economy is highly dependent on retired workers
o Thinking becomes impaired part of inferiority is less competent, slower, less productive than young
o Believed to be asexuality, lack of need for intimate relations
o Our stereotypes are rooted in paternalistic assumptions: impotent, child-like, forgetful & greater need for protection
for this population’s own good patriarchal aspect of model
o Seniors fully functioning always commented upon
o Incompetent retirement flows to all aspects of life = truly inferiorized minority
2) Stereotypes and Invalidation myths
Advertising business portray old as less engaged, products manufactured will make them look younger
Greatest stigma is attached to women images portrayed of after 40s, flow on
Ageing differs substantially, dependent on number of things: work, stress management, genetic heritage
Older ppl thought of as homogeneous, as a group ppl become more diverse w/ age not more alike
Differ along lines of ethnicity, family life, children or none, social class, work, leisure pursuits, religion, life experience
Greater difference in that population than ours, group is highly fragmented, hard to get them to work together as a whole
Definition of senior citizens, chronologically based is a structure construction
3) Invalidation ideology: ageism and the theory of “disengagement” rationalizing the violation of human rights
In early 60s, sociologist dev’d theory of disengagement ageing involves an inevitable withdrawal or disengagement
resulting in decreased interaction with those in ageing persons milieu initiation by selves or others in their social network
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