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Gerontologist. 1995 Feb;35(1):112-8.

Understanding ageism: lessons from feminism and postmodernism.

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Pennsylvania State University, Department of Geography, University Park 16802-5011.


I argue that ageism is a set of oppressive social relations directed at and constructed in images of the aged body. Drawing from feminist and postmodern theorists I suggest that we must avoid essentialism, be sensitive to historical and geographical variations in the form of ageism, focus on the contested nature of the aged body and associated identities, and reject attempts at universalizing scholarship. I suggest that our work focus on five sites of struggle around ageist identities: the labor force, the household, popular culture, the state, and the built environment, each of which is involved in the construction and reconstruction of the aged body.

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