Social Stigmas

I am not satisfied with simply dismissing adultism as “social stigma,” nor do I believe that anytime a young person is discriminated against it is inherently adultism. Remember that I define adultism as the addiction our society has to the ideas, actions, and words of adults.

Sitting in another airport somewhere in America, I just watched an instance involving several younger people being blatantly ignored then turned away by a gate worker, for no apparent reason. In the past I might’ve been tempted to label this adultism and turn away from it; today I know differently. I could break this down along from many angles, including thoughts along the lines of privilege and climate.

Social class driven cultural norms, including clothing, speech, and manuerisms informed the communication between these parties. Perceptions of bias and discrimination are real for those experiencing them; however, prejudice needs to be named correctly in order to be addressed effectively.

Naming oppressions and social stigmas effectively are the keys to successfully changing society. Let’s use them to open the door to let everyone in.

— This is Adam Fletcher’s blog originally posted at For more see

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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