Ageing, ageism, and lost honor: Narratives of Arab elders in Israel

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Shlomit Manor


This study examines how Arab elders in Israel experience old age and speak about ageism, old age, and loss of honor. Interviews were conducted with 25 Arab men and women, both Muslims and Christians, between the ages of 63 and 86. The findings indicate that despite Arab society being a familial and traditional society, informants experience ageism and feelings of loss of respect and status in both the public and private spheres. The findings reveal a multilayered discourse, inconsistent and incoherent, riddled with internal contradictions about honor, exclusion, ageism, and its absence. This discourse reflects Arab society’s ambivalence about the ongoing processes of modernization on the one hand, and the desire to preserve traditional family values and the status of older populations on the other. The issue of ageism within Arab society in Israel has not thus far drawn much attention in the field of gerontological research, and this study therefore aims to fill this gap.


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