Friday, 14 September 2018

Gerontophobia. A Mass Neurosis.

"gerontophobia in British (dʒɛˌrɒntəˈfəʊbɪə)
an abnormal fear or hatred of old people or the idea of growing old"
Collins Dictionary

"morbid fear or dislike of old persons"

"Gerontophobia is the unreasonable fear and or irrational hatred of older people by society and by themselves. It is indeed a phobia, i.e., a malady, which according to our admittedly insufficient studies engulfs one-fifth of the population of the United States in varying degrees with variations in groupings, ages, marital status, and education.
(...) It is, in reality, asking for action, (...)
In every paper on gerontophobia, in every interview, we have stressed the all-inclusive nature of the social neurosis. One of the major difficulties seems to lie in the fact that it is a mass neurosis with the seat in the individual reacting not only on his immediate environment. Thus, we find it in young and old, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, and in all groups of society."
Bunzel (1972)

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- Bunzel, J. H. (1972). Note on the History of a Concept - Gerontophobia. The Gerontologist, 12(2)
- photograph by Vivian Maier via