Adultism: A Well-Kept Secret

Adultism is the term used to describe the oppression of young people by adults. An article by John Bell included this definition: “…adultism refers to behaviors and attitudes based on the assumption that adults are better than young people, and entitled to act upon young people without their agreement. This mistreatment is reinforced by social institutions, laws, customs, and attitudes.”

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Location: Boulder, CO, United States

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Let Me Introduce Myself

Hello. Welcome to my blog.

My name is Margaret Pevec. I'm 56 years old and live in Boulder, CO. For over 10 years now I've been interested in educating people about adultism, the oppression of young people by adults. I first encountered the concept of adultism as a practitioner of Re-Evaluation Counseling (also known as "RC" or Co-Counseling). RC may have coined the term. In any event, RC has been instrumental in defining adultism and in helping people recover from the emotional and psychological fall-out from the oppression. Another early writer on adultism was Jack Flasher, who published an article by that name in the journal Adolescence in 1978. Flasher discussed in great detail the abuses of adult power over children and identified several commonly held beliefs, for example that “all adults are superior in all skills and virtues to all children (p. 517). Flasher also identified at least 36 distinct adultist behaviors.

Two years ago I used an adultist lens to discuss research I did for my thesis on parent/adolescent communication. At that time a Google™ search on the word got about 3000 hits. Today it gets 28,200. It is my belief that adultism is soon going to break through into the general consciousness. I hope this blog will be instrumental in leading the way.

I have posted two articles, one for adults and one for young people on my website. Go to:, click on "Adultism" and see the PDF links near the top of the page.

I want to connect with others who believe it is time for adultism to be acknowledged as the damaging oppression it is. I welcome your comments.


Blogger Tabren Wyldstar said...

First, let me welcome you to the world of advocacy blogging, you have picked a GREAT topic.

I myself recently began a blog ( through which I describe my views on social policies.

I, myself, was a victim of adultism, committed by my father in several ways, not the least of which was his discouragement of my pursuing a career in computers. Back then the microcomputer revolution was just beginning and he felt it wasn't going to last long because microcomputers at that time were not very powerful. Because of this, I lost about 15 years of participating in one of the greatest industries of our time. Adultism can rear its ugly head in many ways, as can any form of discrimination. Personally, I would love to see ALL forms of discrimination disappear in my lifetime.

Keep up the good work, I'll be watching!

August 29, 2007 at 12:08 PM  

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