Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Samantha Szczur


Age discrimination, although illegal, continues to have a presence within organizations against older individuals. Previous research on age discrimination has determined that the social identity of those older workers discriminated against are affected. This project examines how older workers are being discriminated against, how age discrimination affects the dignity of an older worker, and how age discrimination affects the professional identity of older workers. This study focuses on eleven white-collar workers, age 45-65 who have experienced age discrimination in the workplace. Analysis revealed that older workers found themselves being fired from organizations, barred from entry into organizations, and denied training opportunities because they were an expense to the organization. The analysis also revealed participants felt a lack of dignity where they felt worthless and their knowledge was unvalued in the organization and their professional identity suffered as they felt insecure for their future and began to question their abilities as a worker during and after being discriminated against. Theoretical and practical implications are offered for those organizations that overtly and/or covertly participate in age discrimination and how to create a more inclusive environment for their older workers. Recommendations for future research are presented and a practical application for inclusivity of older workers in organizations is presented.