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Ecosocial Levels of Analysis of Ageism

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There are four ecosocial levels of analysis that can be applied to ageist manifestation in society. From a macro, meso, micro and individual level, these ageist categories are: structural, institutional, interpersonal and embodied ageism. Nancy Krieger (1999, p. 301) offers some excellent and succinct definitions of structural, institutional and interpersonal discrimination, which apply well to ageism.  Structural ageism, also known as “systemic ageism” is the “totality of ways in which societies foster discrimination” against older adults. A subset of structural ageism, cultural ageism, encompasses ageist media messages, commentary, humor and other cultural facets wherein ageist perspectives are accepted as de facto truths (Palmore, 2005, p. 333). Institutional ageism, or “organizational ageism” refers to “discriminatory policies or practices carried out by state or non-state institutions” that are detrimental to older adults. Interpersonal ageism, or “institutional ageism” refers to “directly perceived discriminatory interactions between individuals.”

The last level of analysis, the individual, relates to embodied ageism. This is a relatively new concept and, as such, requires further background information. Read about embodied ageism here.

Further Reading

Embodied Ageism
Example of Structural Ageism (in development)
Example of Institutional Ageism  (in development)
Example of Interpersonal Ageism  (in development)
Examples of Embodied Ageism (in development)

Works Cited
Krieger, N. (1999). Embodying Inequality: A Review of Concepts Measures, and Methods for Studying Health Consequences of Discrimination. International Journal of Health Services , 29 (2), 295-352.



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