Nancy Osgood argues that in American culture, several mechanisms perpetuate and communicate ageist images, stereotypes and myths. Do these mechanisms exist in your society? Nancy Osgood claims that in American culture, several mechanisms like common aphorisms, literature and the media always convey an idea -- the age is something to be denied or feared. Even though these mechanisms also exist in my social, China, they usually play a role to show old are actually meritorious and respectable.
American aphorisms such as “you cannot trust anyone over forty” imply that they believe old people are usually less dependable. However, in China, most aphorisms demonstrate that old people are more trustworthy. There is a well-known saying in China “ones should always ask old people for advice before he starts doing something.” In Chinese culture, people believe since old people have read numerous books and undergone countless challenges, they are supposed to be more knowledgeable than the young, hence young should always trust them no matter what circumstance is. Therefore, unlike American, in my society, mechanisms like common aphorisms are always used to eulogize old people.
In addition, the author points out American literatures always imply people become less attractive when they become old. However, in my society, the attitude towards attractiveness is usually opposite. Chinese people believe after undergoing so many things, old know how to do things properly and get along well with other people. The virtues like consideration or kindness make them become more gracious than those irritable and naïve young people. In the second cheaper of “a dream of red mansions”, Cao Xueqin wrote that although the room is crowded, I keep staring the women standing in the middle of them room. She smiles so warmly, although she is about 60 years old, I believe she is the most elegant woman in the world. Unlike...
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