Ageism: What's the harm?
This paper gives an overview of the harm that ageism causes to both individuals and society.
Ageism is discrimination against someone because of their age. Ageism is often dismissed as being harmless, but evidence shows that it causes significant damage to individuals, the economy and society.
There are three main types of ageism:
- Institutional ageism, when ageism is embedded in laws, rules, social norms, policies and the practices of institutions
- Interpersonal ageism occurs in the interactions between individuals
- Self-directed ageism is when a person internalises ageism due to repeated exposure to ageist messages and, as a result, modifies their own thinking and behaviour
This report shows how ageism causes deep and lasting harm to people and society, directly and indirectly, exacerbating social divisions and inequalities and damaging our economy.