Title of Activity: Ageism and Intersectionality Scavenger Hunt
Designed by: Sheri R. Levy, Stony Brook University, email@example.com
Suggested Courses: High School, Undergraduate, Graduate Courses; Any Psychology Course
Ageism toward older adults is institutionalized in countries such as the United States. Reporting on the state of ageism around the world, the World Health Organization has noted that “ageism is prevalent, ubiquitous and insidious because it goes largely unrecognized and unchallenged" (WH0, 2021, p. IX). The purpose of this hands-on activity is to increase awareness and understanding of ageism and other isms and how interlocking systems of privilege and bias maintain stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination in a society. This activity fits well as part of a unit on social psychology (how social contexts play a pivotal role in how people think, feel, and act) and units in any course on stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. This suggested activity is an adaptation of Dr. Jill L. Coleman’s (Roosevelt University) “Social Privilege Scavenger Hunt,” which in 2009 was awarded Honorable Mention for the Action Teaching Award given by the Social Psychology Network (https://www.actionteaching.org/award/social-privilege). According to Dr. Coleman, the instructor provides students with a list of items to explore in a store (e.g., Target, Walmart) based on the instructor’s content goals.
With a focus on aging, ageism toward older adults as well as other age groups, and intersectionality, I have used a scavenger hunt list such as the following in a variety of psychology classes:
Just about any store can be used for this activity. It is not necessary to visit a store in-person. Individuals can complete the assignment by searching an online store.
If students are visiting a store in-person, they could also explore the following:
As part of a written assignment and/or as part of a class discussion, students may be asked to submit photos (respecting other shoppers’ privacy) or screen shots of the items to share with the class and/or be asked to write a brief reaction piece concerning their observations. Feedback from students suggest that the scavenger hunt raises awareness of ageism toward older adults and other isms as well as intersectionality.
Citation for This Activity:
Levy, S.R. (2021). Ageism and Intersectionality Scavenger Hunt Activity. In S.R. Levy (Ed.). Taking Ageism Seriously. https://takingageismseriously.org/
World Health Organization. (2021, March). Global report on ageism. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240016866
Source: Michael Gaida / Pixabay