Ageism as a Way of Oppression

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Updated: Jun 03, 2021
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Ageism as a Way of Oppression essay

In most cases, young and elderly individuals are prone to discrimination due to their meek nature. People deprive them opportunities to make decisions, occupy positions of power, and voice concerns. Some of the individuals subjected to discrimination are often weak and cannot fight for their rights (DeJong & Love, 2016). Even though the society embeds appropriate behaviors, roles, and expectations, youthful and elderly individuals continue to experience oppression in their daily lives.

Forms of oppression vary on the basis of age in most societies. The authors distinguish the two by defining youth oppression as adultism and referring to elder oppression as ageism. Some common forms of maltreatment include physical and sexual abuse, denied control, verbal interactions, and threats; in return, the victims lack self-confidence and self-esteem (DeJong & Love, 2016). Additionally, the individuals witness a rise in their sense of powerlessness and worthlessness. Even though elder oppression is common in most communities, the systematic disrespect and mistreatment of youths are relatively new, and people have not accepted it as a reality. For instance, high school children in the United States play an important role in political campaigns, yet they are not permitted to vote until they are eighteen years old (DeJong & Love, 2016). The action is a sign of disrespect as politicians view the learners as campaign tools, whereas the students are supposed to be in school. Therefore, despite the existence of human rights activities, the oppression of both youths and seniors is rampant in most societies.

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In my opinion, the government should criminalize oppressing individuals based on their age. Youths should enlighten themselves on ways to fight for their rights to prevent discrimination and disrespect in the society. However, since the elderly are often weak, their families and caregivers should provide adequate protection and monitor them to prevent third parties from infringing their privileges. For instance, household members may monitor vital changes in behavior that may reveal signs of depression or stress due to oppression. The victims should seek therapy to help them to cope with the situation and request additional assistance from individuals close to them. Furthermore, I perceive that people in nursing homes and seniors with disabilities are more prone to subjugation than individuals receiving care from close family members. Hence, I think people should shun the practice of sending the elderly to nursing homes; instead, they should provide them with care while at home.

Notably, in Western countries, societies incorporate young people and elders in structures of domination and subordination. Organizations maintain equality in boards of directors by appointing young people to enhance decision making and determining the management of junior employees. I think the approach is commendable, and all structures in the society should emulate the practice since youths and seniors would create policies to protect themselves from abuse. In situations when ageist attitudes are rampant, elders with political and economic roles can institute measures to represent victims’ needs. Therefore, affected people can emulate different practices to protect their interests.

Young and elderly individuals continue to face oppression despite the society instilling suitable behaviors and expectations. Some victims face physical and sexual abuse, while others encounter denial controls, threats, and verbal interactions. However, stakeholders can intercede and ensure that the individuals have adequate protection. All in all, people should study signs of oppression and safeguard youths’ and seniors’ needs.


DeJong, K., & Love, B. J. (2016). Youth oppression and elder oppression. In M. Adams, L. A. Bell, & P. Griffin (Eds.), Teaching for diversity and social justice (2nd ed.) (pp. 553-565). New York, NY: Routledge. 

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Ageism As A way Of Oppression. (2021, Jun 03). Retrieved from