Eradicating ageism through social campaigns: An Israeli case study in the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic

Sarit Okun, Liat Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This study examined three social campaigns for the eradication of ageism that were undertaken in Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic (April, 2020–May, 2021). The documentation and analysis of the campaigns were undertaken via the lens of the Theory of Change and Five Key Principles for social campaigns: planning strategically, communicating effectively, fostering community engagement, implementing key activities, and using research. We conducted desk reviews and qualitative interviews with the campaigns’ organizers. The Theory of Change implemented by the campaigns targeted self-ageism among independent older people and/or employers of older adults. All campaigns emphasized “active aging” and “successful aging,” to decrease (self)-ageism. The focus on one dimension of active and positive aging may result in ageism and exclusion of older people who do not fit into the category of independent and active people. The complex timing of the campaigns had influenced the degree of implementation of the five key principles. The joining of forces of different organizations and the employment of more diverse representations of old age, may facilitate the achievement of campaign goals. Finally, an empirical evaluation of social campaigns’ efforts is still necessary to gather evidence about the effectiveness of social campaigns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1016
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number4
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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