Ageism

Open Desert Road

As we know there are various types of discrimination and different groups people discriminate against. Legislators, educators, artists, activists, writers work hard to make us more sensitive to this issue and help us do away with any form of prejudicial treatment or thinking.

What groups and individuals face on a daily basis can be categorised as direct or indirect discrimination, harassment and victimization based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation etc. Here we’ll have a look at age-based discrimination, i.e. ageism, which, just like other forms of unjust treatment, may be intentional or not, lawful or illegal.

*We tend to think that ageism harms the elderly citizens only. Mind you that there are business cultures and institutions around the world that discriminate against young people, too.



Task 1

Reading:  Dan Lyons’s book gives us some insight into corporate policies that toss people aside at fifty. Choose one of the words in bold that fits the context of the review below.

Times have changed. In “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Startup Bubble” (Hachette), Dan Lyons, a fifty-one-year-old Newsweek reporter, gets his first shock when he’s laid off/ lay down. “They can take your salary and hire/fire five kids right out of college,” he’s told. His second shock occurs when he takes a lower-paying job/price at a startup called HubSpot, where his boss is a twentysomething named Zack who’s been there a month. Lyons arrives for work in the traditional uniform of a midlife achiever/graduate—“gray hair, unstylishly cut; horn-rimmed glasses, button down shirt”— to find himself surrounded by brogrammers in flip-flops who nickname him Grandpa Buzz. His third shock is the realization that the tech sector usually tosses/treats people aside at fifty. A few chapters later, he advances the expiration date to forty. A few chapters after that, he’s gone.

Full text:

Why Ageism Never Gets Old
The prejudice is an ancient habit, but new forces—in Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and beyond—have restored its youthful vitality.
Task 2

Watch the beginning  of the trailer of “The Intern”, a film that presents a few age-related issues in a truly light hearted way. Decide whether the statements below are true or false.

1.The question asked by the interviewer has been adjusted to this particular situation. T/F

2.’Senior intern program’ can mean at least 3 different things. T/F

3.”I’m glad you also see the humour in this.” / “Be hard not to.” is an exchange that breaks the ice and goes beyond the awkwardness. T/F

4.”So you don’t wanna transfer.”, “Not really, sir. I’m terribly sorry. Excuse me” is a line that, in its nature, discriminates against female bosses. T/F

5.”I’m her intern.”/”That’s hysterical.” signals that the girl finds the situation funny. T/F

To check what happens when we create age-inclusive video projects go to:

 

Maja Witowska-Rubaszek

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