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SOC246H1 (20)

Seductiveness of Agelessness Summary

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University of Toronto St. George
Markus Schafer

THE SEDUCTIVENESS OF AGELESSNESSABSTRACT AGELESSNESSold age is nothing more than a social construct and that until it is eliminated as a conceptual category ageism discrimination against the old will continue this article challenges this view stating that the current tendency towards agelessness is itself a form of ageism depriving the old of one of their most hardearned resources their age their view in this article is that old age is a unique phase of the lifecycle replete w continued developmental possibilities INTRODUCTION one of the more successful and subtle mechanisms through which ageism operates in our culture is our redefinition of certain types of old age as young rather than regarding the internal and external aspects of ourselves as inextricably bound together we compartmentalize them imposing upon them a false dualismwe conceptualize the ageing process as one in which there is an increasing conflict bw our corpus which drags us into our dreaded old age and our spirit which remains forever young we tell ourselves that if our bodies must grow old we can at least retain our youthful spiritold age disappearsy argues that this is an artificial dissection which causes us to cut ourselves off from ourselvesI am only as old as I feel allows us to believe we can transcend agey it is a product of soc which tells us that age is something to be transcended THE ELIMINATION OF OLD AGEage is a category in itself it is obsoleteold age is merely a psychological statewhile all the stages of the lifecycle are socially and culturally constructed there is not much discussion about eliminating infancy adolescence or adulthood from the developmental landscapeit appears that only old age is coming under the scalpel a rethinking of ageism cannot be based upon the presumption that old age existsold age is a cultural concept a construction that has a certain popular utility in sustaining ageism win soc that need scapegoatsppl who behave in a racist or sexist manner will probably never be members of the group which is the target of their discrimination y however you will be oldyou can be racist or sexist and never be in the same categorybut being ageist is hypocritical because you will be in that category someday ageism is unique in that those who practice it will one day join the group that they discriminate againstppl do all sorts of things to try and prolong their lives and at some level believe that extended life will not encompass old age
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