Module 2: The Client

Unit 4: “Isms” – Ableism, Ageism, Classism, Sexism, etc.

Learning Objectives

In this section, the student will:

  • Define common “isms” and phobias (ageism, sexism, racism, classism, able-ism, homophobia, xenophobia)
  • Explain how “isms” result in micro-aggressions
  • Identify the barriers created by the use of “isms”
  • Explain the use of “isms” as a way to oppress and control others in the healthcare system

Important Definitions

ism noun \ˈi-zəm\[1]

The suffix ‘ism’ is neutral and therefore bears no connotations associated with any of the many ideologies it has been appended to; such determinations can only be informed by public opinion regarding specific ideologies like ageism, cubism etc. According to Merriam–Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage it is a belief, attitude, style, etc., that is referred to by a word that ends in the suffix -ism : the act, practice, or process of doing something.

“we all have got to come to grips with our isms”  — Joycelyn Elders

microaggression [mahy-kroh-uh-gresh-uh n] [2]

Any small-scale verbal or physical interaction between those of different races, cultures, or genders that has no malicious intent, but that can be interpreted as an aggression.





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Advanced Care Navigation 1 by The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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