Juvenile Ageism Event

What is Juvenile Ageism?

By: Lindsay Lenton MSc – ESRC PhD candidate in Psychology

I am a final year PhD student from Plymouth University, and I wanted to invite you to an event designed to raise awareness of juvenile ageism.

Juvenile ageism is ageism directed at younger people. You can see this in all areas of our society. From the marketing of devices as ‘teenager repellents’ to the headlines in local newspapers and the comments that follow on social media. Another example is the pay gap, under 21s get lower pay for doing the same job, on the basis of their age alone. If that was done using race or gender as the demographic, there would be uproar.

I interviewed 44 young people and without fail they had all experienced ageism in some way. They also suggested that this adds to their sense of self in a negative way. As an ex-youth support worker & Psychology graduate, I believe that this experience can radically change a child/young person’s outlook on the world and the society that they live in at a critical time in their development. More specifically I think that this can foster a feeling of unfairness and unjust experience of the world. For younger people who already have had negative experiences this could exasperate feelings that they already hold and lead to a negative impact on mental health, motivation, self-esteem etc.

I was a youth support worker for 10 years when I decided to go back to education and get more qualifications to enable me to support children & young people more effectively. What this project has shown me, is that we are constantly telling young people to change. The interventions are all aimed at them. But haven’t we fed into this? Instead of bringing them up in a way that leads to them needing to change, maybe we need to change!? The dream is obviously to change the world (society) for them.

The Event

The first (free & online) networking & training event on 17th and 18th February for Juvenile Ageism Awareness (JAA) is taking registrationsJAA is a network set up by me and a group of young people from a local college. The link to our Facebook page is here.

The event is funded by the Economic & Social Research Council and is aimed at everyone, young people, professionals and adults alike. No one needs to have their camera on, and participants can be as involved as they want (and drop in and out on sessions).

We are running competitions on social media, however, there are ways for people to enter and be involved directly if social media is not suitable. I want to remove all barriers to engagement. If you’re interested, please send me an email and I could send you a list of the competitions that we are running up to the event (these include a creative project for our cover photo and the creation of a birthday card that is not ageist).

The link to register for the event is here (no one needs to attend both days if they don’t want to):

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