Chapter

Age discrimination in history

John Macnicol

in Social Policy Review 18

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9781861348449
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303459 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861348449.003.0012
Age discrimination in history

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This chapter offers an insightful historical analysis and outlines the age legislation linking it to four discernable trends: declining economic activity rates, demographic imperatives post-2020 with the associated increased pension costs, skills shortages and rising life expectancy. It considers the timing of this legislation and by outlining the recent history of the legislation, evaluates some of the tensions in the age discrimination debate and what has come to be called ageism set within an historical discourse. It argues that the difficulty has often been in providing legally verifiable proof, based on US experience of similar age legislation. It suggests that the uniqueness of the British ‘welfare state’, built up over centuries, has resulted in a contradictory assemblage of both positive and negative age-based discriminatory welfares. It concludes that the focus of the debate should be on long-term structural labour markets shifts and patterns that have ‘de-industrialized older men’.

Keywords: age legislation; demographic imperatives post-2020; age discrimination; British welfare state; age-based discriminatory welfares

Chapter.  8194 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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