Ageism Old and New: Rising Generations Must Reframe Their Elders’ Take on Ageism

Start time
10:00 AM Pacific
End time
11:00 AM Pacific

Part of the Generations Education Series, funded in part by the Archstone Foundation.

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Includes Complimentary CEUs.

Older people have been subject since the beginning of recorded history to demeaning satire about their physical appearance, mental capacity and jaundiced personality. It was not until 1969, however, that Dr. Robert Butler gave the prejudice against age a name—ageism. Academics, policymakers, and advocates ever since have waged a war on this prejudice, but there have been few victories. Older adults, like young people, generally perceive the coming of age as a time of decline, loss and isolation. Despite educational initiatives and anti-discriminatory laws, Baby Boomers (who earlier in life mistrusted anyone older than 30) are entering later life chilled by undercurrents of disdain and disesteem. Just as racism, sexism, homophobia and other prejudices have been taking on new shapes and impacts in the last half-century, so, too, the faces of “the new ageism” have been transformed by demography, the political economy and alterations in cultural mores. This seminar attempts to galvanize Baby Boomers in the fight against ageism, as it suggests fresh strategies for rising generations to deploy.

Participants in this web seminar will be able to:

  • Understand the variegated dimensions of ageism;
  • Apprehend the individual and societal forces giving rise to the new ageism; and,
  • Use research, advocacy, education and policy in the campaign against the new ageism.


Andy Achenbaum Ph.D., holds the Gerson and Sabina David Professorship of Global Aging in the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston, Texas, and has been working and teaching at the intersection of history and gerontology for four decades. Now semi-retired, he has begun to witness and experience ageism first hand.