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Rhetorical Analysis

Brandon J. Arellano



The Book, Elder Abuse: Practice & Policy was published in 1989, it is composed of three parts.

Part one provides research studies that introduce the concept of Ageism & elderly abuse &

reported cases. Part two discusses the perspectives of elder abuse from legal, social, and medical

profession's point of view. It focuses on their encounters in recognizing and treating those who

suffered from any sort of abuse. Part three is based off of the federal, states, and local

government's change in policies as they began to address the severity of the rising issue

Rhetorical Analysis

Ageism is defined as the practice of discrimination of elderly people in society. It is

very noticeable throughout society; discrimination & abuse happens in the workplace and

in advertising. The Monograph, (1989) Elder Abuse: Practice and Policy was written by

Rachel Filinson and Stanley R Ingman identifies and lists multiple accounts of elderly

abuse in America. Abuse is not only defined as physical abuse, it also includes verbal

abuse, emotional abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect. Looking at the literary piece

of work, this paper will analyze the intended audience, use of the author's methods of

persuasion on elder abuse therefore, this analysis will prove that elder abuse has always

been a serious issue in society


The target of audience is primarily directed towards academic, government, and social

care professions. Both the authors received their doctorates in sociology and teach the

course. The reading contains guidelines of protective services that deal with elderly

abuse, policies made in local, state, and federal government. The whole reason it was

written was to provide logical information on ageism, to prove how discrimination and

abuse against the elderly is real. Few believe the concept of ageism to stand false, but

research proves otherwise as studies revealed "that physical abuse was the most prevalent

form of abuse" (p.19). The authors primarily wrote the monograph to inform about the

levels, signs, and detection of elder abuse whether it being physical, verbal, sexual,

financially, and mental. Filinson and Ingman did their research since they both teach

sociology and published all their findings to help educate others about this cruel issue.


Elder Abuse: Practice and Policy was published on March 1st, 1989 by the Human

Sciences Press in New York. This date established a rising concern for early awareness

on elder abuse. The Authors’, Rachel Filinson and Stanley R. Ingman, themselves are

very credible since they both deal with social issues daily. Rachel Filinson received her

Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Sterling (Scotland), she currently works at the

department of sociology at Rhode Island College, she teaches sociology and does

researches in social policy. On her spare time, she’s usually conducting research about

social policies as well as publishing books and articles. Stanley R. Ingman received his

Ph.D. in sociology too, he works for the department of Applied Gerontology at UNT,

conducts and publishes research on social policies as well. Many credible sources vary

from local, state, and federal policies as even The U.S. House of Representatives have

also noticed an increased attention of elder abuse, "particularly physical abuse of

vulnerable, physically, or mentally disabled elders" (Bergman, 1981; U.S. House of

Representatives, 1979, 1980, 1981a, 1981b, (P. 81). There really should be no further

need to question or disbelieve the credibility of the countless information as it was

addressed by the own government. In the midst of congressional hearings, the

Administration on Aging "gave priority to elder abuse research" (P.19)


The authors don't try to persuade the readers by the use of emotions. No appeals to

emotions have been made throughout the monograph, the literature contains pure research and

studies from credible sources. Detections of physical abuse signs and symptoms are assessed

throughout the work to inform and educate the reader, there is absolutely no emotional pleas

whatsoever. The book was primarily written for a legislation and political analysis, it’s central

theme is the connection between policy structure about elder abuse, its practice, and the base of



The appeal of logic is used throughout the whole literary work, the authors back up their

claims with reasoning. According to the O'Malley research team (O'Malley, Everitt, & Sarson,

1984) "their findings revealed 3 distinct categories" (P.23). The first category usually happens

when impaired elderly's needs are "neglected for a short time due to the weariness of the

caregiver." The second category happens when an impaired elderly is not dependent on a family

caregiver although they're impaired and "tends to be financially exploited and psychologically

abused" (P.23). The Third category occurs when independent elderly people are "physically,

psychologically, or financially abused by family members who are not caregivers" (P.23).

Claims from testimonies have stated that women are "most-likely perpetrators of abuse" (P.19)

and are probably old themselves. Research suggested that "caregivers themselves are former

victims of abuse who perpetuate a familial cycle of violence" (P.19), this then caused a chain

reaction of drafted laws aimed towards the "assumptions about the nature of elder abuse."

According to findings, the abusing adult offspring tends to be characterized as a “white, middle-

aged man, who is catholic, unmarried, high-school educated” (P.45) The victim usually tends to

be his natural mother whom he has lived with for “several years and is very old with physical

and mental impairments” (P.45). Abuse is usually inflicted in three different forms, “usually

pushing, grabbing, shoving, or shaking, as well as throwing something at the elder parent or

slapping.” (P.45). Usually the abuser “did not grow up in a violent home” but has a

“characteristic pathology, most commonly emotional distress, mental illness, or alcoholism”


(P.45). Dealing with those factors, they usually become burdened with close contact, “disturbing

behaviors such as being demanding or critical, and by his lack of personal time because of

caregiving responsibilities” therefore it makes the situation unbearable for the caregiver and they

lash out.


After a thorough analysis the conclusion based how their research and findings were

primarily addressed to influence a scholarly audience, protective services, and lawmakers in all

three types of government. The book provides a thorough address of the issue in the United

States, clinical assessments and management of elderly abuse were stated throughout the work.

Decision making problems on adult protective services, legal justice, and guardianship are

focused on in part three of the work, it discusses all the legal actions that must be done. The

Elder justice act and older American act are introduced to the reader to educate about research,

practice, training, and policy issues on elder abuse. This Literary work contained no appeals to

the readers emotions as it was all facts, research, and studies. Since both authors received

doctorates degrees in Sociology, they knew how to get their point across by basing their thesis

off of textual evidence, therefore the analysis proved that the work was very informative,

Touching and going into depth on the severity and rising concern of the abuse of the elderly.

Thoroughly explaining the early symptoms, signs, and detections of abuse whether is being

physical, verbal, financial, etc.… elder abuse was exposed to more light. (Arellano, 2018)


Filinson, R. & Ingman, R. S. (1989). Elder Abuse: Practice and Policy. New York, NY.

Human Sciences Pr.


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Research Gate. Share and discover