*Please note that this is an initial list of definitions of ageism.
Butler, R. N. (1969). Age-ism: Another form of bigotry. The Gerontologist, 9(4, Pt. 1), 243-246. doi:10.1093/geront/9.4_Part_1.243.
This is a landmark article in which Butler described ageism as a “serious national problem” (p. 243) and described ageism as a “a form of bigotry we now tend to overlook: age discrimination or age-ism, prejudice by one age group toward other age groups” and as “a deep seated uneasiness on the part of the young and the middle-aged – a personal revulsion to and distaste for growing old, disease, disability; and fear of powerlessness, “uselessness,” and death” (Butler 1969, p. 243)
Butler, R. N. (1980). Ageism: A foreword. Journal Of Social Issues, 36(2), 8-11. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.1980.tb02018.x.
Butler's foreword to this special issue of Journal of Social Issues is often cited for its definition of ageism. In 1980, Butler expanded his definition to “three distinguishable yet interrelated aspects to the problem of ageism: 1) Prejudicial attitudes toward the aged, toward old age, and toward the aging process, including attitudes held by the elderly themselves; 2) discriminatory practices against the elderly, particularly in employment, but in other social roles as well; and 3) institutional practices and policies which, often without malice, perpetuate stereotypic beliefs about the elderly, reduce their opportunities for a satisfactory life and undermine their personal dignity” (p. 8).
Palmore E (1989) Ageism: Negative and positive. First edition. New York: Springer.
In 1989, Erdman Palmore expanded the definition of ageism to incorporate positive ageism, that is, any kind of ageism, defining ageism as “any prejudice or discrimination against or in favor of an age group” (p. 4).
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