Age stereotypes: new research and its application where jobs are scarce

Age at Work

This article in the New York Times highlights new research by Michael North and Susan Fiske of Princeton University in the area of age stereotypes which is potentially interesting in the context of age at work.

As the article says, age discrimination in the workplace can be harder to identify and quantify than race and sex discrimination. For example, older workers may be unfairly demoted but could still earn more than their younger counterparts, making salary differentials (which can be helpful in the context of say gender) a less useful tool in identifying age discrimination.

The research examines prescriptive (as opposed to descriptive) stereotypes i.e. ones that attempt to control how older people should be. This is examined in relation to what the researchers describe as ‘encouraging active Succession of envied resources [and] preventing passive Consumption of shared resources’). The researchers make the point that these stereotypes are of interest…

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