Conceptions and tendencies of age discrimination and attitudes

  • Fredrik Nils Christian Snellman School of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland; Department of Social Work, Umeå University, Sweden
  • Mikael Nygård Department of Social Sciences/Social Policy, Åbo Akademi University in Vaasa, Finland
  • Susanne Jungerstam Degree Programme Social Services, Novia University of Applied Sciences, Vaasa, Finland
Keywords: age discrimination, attitudes, ageism, tendencies, conceptions, older people, Finland, Sweden


This study aims to access and explore tendencies in the conceptualization of age discrimination and the perceived attitudes towards older people in regions of Finland and Sweden. The analysis draws on GERDA survey data (GErontological Regional DAtabase), a repeated cross-sectional study in which data was collected in 2005 and 2010. The results indicate that the conceptions of age discrimination are changing in a positive direction, which is contrary to results shown in the Eurobarometer. On the basis of balance coefficients we show that conceived attitudes towards older people are changing as well, except for individuals in some sub-groups. We discuss the role of political rhetoric in relation to ageing awareness, the (non)individualization of society and the negotiation of age relations as tentative interpretations that strongly challenge the observed empirical tendencies.
How to Cite
Snellman, F. N. C., Nygård, M., & Jungerstam, S. (2013). Conceptions and tendencies of age discrimination and attitudes. Nordic Journal of Social Research, 4.