Many of the projects on which Care Watch is a partner organization result in publications and other resources that you can use and share.
Addressing age-based discrimination in Toronto
One outcome of the Still Acting Out Age Positive Project was a learning module; this module can be customized and used to generate discussion, improvisation, role-playing, and advocacy to explore ageism.
Four dramatic video vignettes were also produced from this project. You are invited to re-create these dramas to explore how ageism is played out in our daily lives.
Identifying, naming and resisting ageism
We produced a series of 1-page information sheets about identifying, naming, and resisting ageism during the research project we partnered with researchers at the University of Toronto (2012-2015), Engaging Citizenship in an Ageist World. Please download and share widely:
Three videos were also developed during this project: (i) What is ageism? Voices of senior citizens & their advocates; (ii) Pressing issues for a growing seniors’ movement; and (iii) Bea Levis: History of a lifelong activist
Peer reviewed publications
Neysmith, S. M. (2018). Using ageism as a lens for challenging inequities in home care. Social Work and Policy Studies: Social Justice, Practice and Theory, 1,(1), 1-16.
Abstract: This paper argues that ageism is a social structural dimension that riddles Canadian society but has yet to be challenged in the ways that sexism and racism are in North America. However, how the effects of ageism are experienced, how these impact the quality of life of individual elderly persons, depends on their social location. Thus, developing an intersectional analysis is essential for resisting ageism. The analysis builds on two of the author’s recent research projects in the home care policy field. One project used a PAR methodology involving a half-dozen activist senior citizens over a three year period. The second project, building on the knowledge generated from the earlier project, mounted a multi-faceted community engagement campaign with diverse groups of senior citizens. The article analyses these data and the operation of ageism in everyday life.
This is an open access publication, available to view and download. This paper was published in special issue of the journal, titled Critical Engagements in Aging and Care.
Trentham, B. L. & Neysmith, S. M. (2018). Exercising senior citizenship in an ageist society through participatory action research: A critical occupational perspective. Journal of Occupational Science, 25(2), 174-190. doi: 10.1080/14427591.2017.1402809.
Abstract: This paper analyses the experiences of a group of senior citizens living in a large Canadian city as they engaged in advocacy focused on home care services. The methodology used was participatory action research (PAR); data were collected over a 2-year period. Findings are considered within an understanding of citizenship as an occupational role, an occupational possibility constrained by conventional ageist views on ageing as reinforced and informed by successful ageing concepts situated within a neo-liberal political context. Key themes emerging from the analysis were naming, exposing and resisting ageism; identifying oneself as a senior citizen; balancing occupational demands in light of age-related changes; and social media as an exclusionary or enabling tool for advocacy. The PAR project is described as it was experienced around several political social actions including letter writing campaigns, political dispositions, and the development of informational materials on ageism. As a socio-cultural condition constraining occupational possibilities for older adults, findings highlight how ageism shapes how senior citizens exercise their citizenship through resistance to normalizing influences. The study illustrates a transformative approach to occupational science research aimed at creating knowledge that leads to social change.
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Trentham, B., Sokoloff, S., Tsang, A., & Neysmith, S. (2015). Social media and senior citizen advocacy: an inclusive tool to resist ageism? Politics, Groups, and Identities, 3(3), 558-571.
Abstract: With population aging, interest groups demand that governments act to prevent a perceived financial crisis. Senior citizens remain frustrated in their efforts to influence the response of policy-makers. In an effort to strengthen their voice, one group of senior citizens, engaged in a participatory action research project, questioned how online social media could be used in their advocacy efforts. This query led to an examination of the literature with the primary objective of determining what is known about the use of social media by senior citizens for the purposes of social advocacy. The outcomes of the review revealed that very few studies specifically examined this question. Senior citizen online roles were depicted as consumers of health information or socializers with family and friends. Ageist assumptions informed the design of computer hardware, online formats and norms for social engagement. Senior citizens have concerns about the trustworthiness of social networking sites and while social media can exclude senior citizens from public debate, the authors conclude that the pressing issue is to focus on age-friendly design and supports. With these in place, social media can provide a venue for senior citizens to challenge ageism and influence public policy discourses.
This is an open access publication, available to view and download.