ERIC Number: ED254786
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Reference Count: 0
A Situational Approach to Understanding Old Age Stigma.
Luken, Paul C.
Individuals may be stigmatized (discredited) if their attributes make them less than what is expected for the social categories into which they are placed. A tentative typology of situations can be developed, based on their potential for producing the stigmatization of old age. In daily situations that do not demand excessive physical or mental capabilities, those who decline to perform without legitimate excuses may be stigmatized. In physically or mentally demanding situations where adverse effects on one's physical or mental state are more likely to occur, stigmatization is likely. In situations where people have enough time to rest, take medications, or cover potential age stigma signs, potentially discrediting attributes are not revealed and individuals are not stigmatized. Finally, in situations where chronological age is used for administrative decision making, individuals are reclassified rather than stigmatized. Other factors which influence the possibility of age stigmatization are commitment, generational contacts, performance norms, and gender. In conclusion, old age is an attribute with variable meaning within our society and is best understood within the specific situations in which its meaning and relevance are determined. (NRB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (37th, San Antonio, TX, November 16-20, 1984).