Ageism Unmasked: Exploring Age Bias and How to End It (Hardcover)

Ageism Unmasked: Exploring Age Bias and How to End It By Tracey Gendron Cover Image
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Why do we still tolerate stereotypes and discrimination based on age?
This bold account of the history and present-day realities of ageism by a nationally recognized gerontologist and speaker uncovers ageism's roots, impact, and how each of us can create a new reality of elderhood.

Ageism Unmasked shifts the lens, enabling us to see that we tolerate, and sometimes actively promote, attitudes and behaviors toward differently aged people that we would reject and condemn if applied to any other group. It peels back the layers to expose how cultural norms and unconscious prejudices have seeped into our lives, silently shaping our treatment of others based on their age and our own misconceptions about aging—and about ourselves.
Offering an all-inclusive approach, Dr. Tracey Gendron reveals the biases behind our false understanding of aging, sharing powerful opportunities for personal growth along with strategies to help create an anti-ageist society.
  • Ageism Unmasked will help readers let go of our desperate need to stay young… exposing how we personally, systematically, structurally, and institutionally stigmatize being old.
  • Ageism Unmasked will help readers appreciate both the challenges and opportunities of how we all age… showing how ageism is prejudice towards both younger and older people.
  • Ageism Unmasked will help readers reset our expectations for getting old… providing the tools to anticipate and experience elderhood as a time of renewed meaning and purpose, empowering each of us to create our own definition of successful aging.

  • Ageism Unmasked
    continues Dr. Gendron's transformative work inspiring people of all ages to embrace aging as our universal and lifelong process of developing over time — biologically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually.

    About the Author

    With over 25 years of experience as a grant-funded researcher and a nationally recognized speaker, Dr. Tracey Gendron has spoken about ageism in forums across America and has also appeared on numerous podcasts and video productions, particularly highlighting those understudied and underrepresented groups at increased risk of adverse health outcomes based on discrimination. Dr. Gendron has a master’s degree in Gerontology, a master’s degree in Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology. She serves as Chair for the VCU Department of Gerontology and Executive Director of the Virginia Center on Aging. Dr. Gendron may be reached at

    Praise For…

    "The strategies Gendron proposes to disrupt age bias and embrace elderhood are both pragmatic and refreshing." — Jeanette Leardi, Next Avenue

    "While her prose is crisp, declarative, and scholarly, it is also accessible and accented with personality and wit; the inclusion of her own personal reflections about aging add a great amount of relatability and narrative connection. Readers concerned with aging will find Gendron’s discussion on the expectations of getting older, as well as the challenges many face with aging, refreshingly helpful. Also crucial is the author’s optimistic perspective about appreciating and embracing the aging process, which can promote better mental health, opportunities for productivity, personal development, and overall happiness." — Kirkus Reviews

    "...a vivid and thoughtful account of human ageing for the general reader, encompassing the history of ageist biases and describing the undeniable damage they inflict – along with suggestions for uprooting them." — South China Morning Post

    “Both scholarly and well written, the book embellishes its point with the expected quotient of wisdom.” — Generations Beat 

    "...well-researched and written..." — Association of Health Care Journalists

    "Gendron advocates addressing ageism head-on. Recognizing and pointing out negative stereotypes of elders will raise awareness and make others sensitive to these misconceptions." — The Beacon

    “…the book provides understandings and highlights concerns, taking note of which can be the first step towards ensuring that elders can live as active, informed citizens with value and agency and exercise their human rights.” Jindal Global Law Review

    “Let Tracey Gendron take you on a unique, profound, well-written and well-explained exploration of ageism. Personal experiences of her own family history –- similar to those that many of us have experienced –- serve to connect Gendron's years of study and research on ageism. As the title suggests, Gendron 'unmasks' what ageism really is, in practice, in society, in the workplace, in our daily lives. Ageism is finally making the headlines and becoming a subject of global attention thanks to researchers like Gendron, who for decades have been trying to translate knowledge from their field for a broad audience without over-simplifying or trivializing ideas and information that for too long has remained in university lecture halls and gerontology conferences. Not reading this book would perhaps be your biggest mistake of the year." Prof. Nic Palmarini, Director of the UK's National Innovation Centre for Ageing

    "Books that combine the rigor of a scholar with the passion of an advocate are rare and invaluable. Ageism Unmasked is one of them. With wit and skill, Tracey Gendron describes the ongoing, multifaceted nature of human aging; deconstructs the historical and social forces that frame it as decline; and asks us to think boldly and imaginatively about the years ahead. Ageism Unmasked is essential reading for everyone who aspires to purpose and meaning right to the end, and is willing to challenge the ageism and ableism that stand in our way." Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism

    "This book is a must read for anyone who is aging — and that is every one of us! Ageism Unmasked takes the reader on a journey of understanding the roots of ageism, its impact and what each of us can do to create a new reality of elderhood. It’s a fascinating and inspirational read —  a true game-changer and society-changer!" Jill Vitale-Aussem, author of Disrupting the Status Quo of Senior Living

    "This book manages the near impossible feat of being simultaneously broad, deep, and impactful. These pages treat readers to a fascinating exploration of where ageism comes from and what we can do to unmask (and undo) its pernicious workings. If Ageism Unmasked is as widely read and studied as it deserves to be, we will all be better off for it." Dr. Bill Thomas, author of Aging Magnificently

    "Ageism Unmasked challenged me to think in new ways about unconscious age bias and the insidious way it shows up (even when unwelcomed) in everyday attitudes and actions. A must-read for policymakers, advertisers, healthcare workers and aging services professionals and anyone grappling with their own age-related issues or those of an older relative or friend, Ageism Unmasked offers insight and guidance on concrete actions individuals and organizations alike can take in their fight against age bias and discrimination." Elizabeth White, author of 55, Underemployed and Faking Normal

    "Tracey Gendron has written a fascinating exploration of the one '-ism' that impacts all of us, at every point in our lives. This book will challenge everything you thought you knew about ageism and how it affects you personally, no matter who or how old you are, and shows how all of us can play a part in overturning this ridiculous barrier to doing better business and living happier lives." — Cindy Gallop, Founder & CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781586423223
    ISBN-10: 1586423223
    Publisher: Steerforth
    Publication Date: March 1st, 2022
    Pages: 192
    Language: English