Ageism has appeared in the media increasingly over the last twenty years. *What is it? *How are we affected? *How does it relate to services for older people? This book builds bridges between the wider age-conscious culture within which people live their lives and the world of the caring professions. In the first part, the literature on age prejudice and ageism is reviewed and set in a historical context. A wide range of settings in which ageism is clearly apparent are considered and then, in the third part, the author identifies a series of issues that are basic in determining a theory of ageism. The book is written in a style intended to engage the reader's active involvement: how does ageism relate to the beliefs the reader might have about older generations, the ageing process and personal fears of the future? To what extent is chronological age used in social control? The book discusses these issues not just in relation to discrimination against 'the elderly' but right across the life course. The book: * is referenced to readily available material such as newspapers and biographies * includes case studies to ensure that it relates to familiar, everyday aspects of age * includes illustrations - examples of ageism in advertizing, etc.