Stereotypes and Images, Their Main Types

RUNNING HEAD: Stereotypes and Images
Stereotypes and Images 6


Stereotypes and Images.
Question One
Define stereotypes, explain why they are common in societies, and why they are inaccurate depictions of reality.
Stereotypes may be described as generalized opinions, ideas or beliefs based on individual thoughts and experience in the society. Most often, stereotypes are produced from irrational thinking about various characteristics observed in the environment. They are common in the society due to exposure to different phenomenal (Gubrium, Holstein & Wiley InterScience, 2003). For example, there are stereotypes that, as an individual ages, their mental capability decreases, they are prone to illness, or they may be prone to poverty, isolation or depression. Others believe that as people age, they become more loving and adorable parents. But for a fact, they are inaccurate depictions of reality because they are based on irrational thinking (Schaie & Willis, 2011).
Question Two
Describe the major kinds of negative stereotypes about the elderly, specific examples of these ageist stereotypes, and the problems with ageist stereotypes.
1. Biomedicalization of aging. This negative belief focuses on sickness where it argues that all problems associated with aging are wholly biological rather than behavioral or social. For example, impotency (Gubrium, Holstein & Wiley InterScience, 2003).
2. Compassionate Stereotyping looks at elderly people as disadvantaged or deserving help or assistance. For example, they are thought to live in poverty (Gubrium, Holstein & Wiley InterScience, 2003).
The main problem of these ageist stereotypes is that they are demeaning and deny the elderly people different opportunities in the community. For example, Jobs opportunities or self-representation.
Question Three
Explain the problems with defining “who is old.”
The main challenge when defining “old” is that aging is a continuous process where individual age differently. Therefore, everyone is old based on his or her year of birth and historical experiences (Schaie & Willis, 2011).
Question Four
Explain variations in biological decline.
The biological decline between different genders is caused by the social environment (status) or even the environment one is exposed to. For example, people believe that the memory of an individual slows down as one gets old which affects his or her performance (Schaie & Willis, 2011).
Question Five
Explain how self-concept affects aging.
Self-concept is how each and every individual sees him or herself. It influences an individual to act according to his age range. For example, an individual may tend to act like a mature man because he thinks he is old enough to act like an elderly man (Gubrium, Holstein & Wiley InterScience, 2003).
Question Six
Describe how the nature of work affects age variations in achievement.
Nature of work determines the experience required to achieve the required goal. For example, older people have more experience than the younger generation which means their expertise and skill will lead to more achievement (Schaie & Willis, 2011).
Question Seven
Explain how and why stress affects aging.
Stress affects the biological makeup of the body (DNA and Cells) which leads to early aging. Too much stress at job leads to the death of major cells that results to the aging of the affected individual (Schaie & Willis, 2011).
Question Eight
Explain why children have negative attitudes about the old and how these attitudes can be changed more positively.
Media is the main cause and catalyst of children negative attitudes towards the old. These negative attitudes can change more positively by capacity building the children through knowledge and information, peer discussions or even guidance and counseling (Gubrium, Holstein & Wiley InterScience, 2003).

Question Nine
Describe media portrayals of the elderly and the problems with these portrayals.
Media portrayals the elderly as helpless, ill or requiring much attention and assistance. The problem with this is that, few individual are ready to help and, therefore, end up having bad attitudes towards the elderly (Schaie & Willis, 2011).
Question Ten
Explain psychological theories of ageism.
The authoritarian personality theory describes the old as less educated, untrusting, insecure and as individuals who hold prejudices with different events and people in the society. On the other hand, the frustration-aggression theory describes the elderly as people who direct their aggression to other people when frustrated. Lastly, the selective perception theory describes their perception as one which is influenced by what they want to get or see. For example, they may observe as if everyone is doing contrary to their advice (Schaie & Willis, 2011).
Question Eleven
Write a paragraph sharing one of your favorite commercial, ad campaign, or television show that depict the elderly population.
There was an advert last year 2015 “John Lewis Christmas advert” that featured an old man who was thought to be living on the moon. First, the advert aimed to showcase how the elderly population is living alone in loneliness. It also aimed at influencing the world to take care of the elderly based on the stereotypes that they are helpless, living in poverty or requiring a lot of assistance from the younger generation.
Schaie, K. W., & Willis, S. L. (2011). Handbook of the psychology of aging. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Academic Press.
Gubrium, J. F., Holstein, J. A., & Wiley InterScience. (2003). Ways of aging. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.

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