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CENTENARIANS IN SWEDISH MASS MEDIA: IS IT REVERSE AGEISM?
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Institute of Gerontology. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. ARN-J (Aging Research Network - Jönköping).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0877-4759
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Institute of Gerontology. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. ARN-J (Aging Research Network - Jönköping).
2022 (English)In: Innovation in Aging, E-ISSN 2399-5300, Vol. 6, no Supplement 1, p. 661-661Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Studies on ageism often deal with negative stereotypes due to increasing age. Seldom studied is the increase in status that seems to occur at the turning point of 100 years. This study explores how centenarians are portrayed in Swedish media texts and relates this to mechanisms of ageism and age coding. We used Retriever database, which is the biggest Nordic database containing news media, to search for press articles concerning 100- to 105-year-olds. Our search resulted in 1468 articles, consisting of both news articles and feature articles. Excluding articles that did not deal with persons, articles with a paywall and redundant articles resulted in 235 articles. We analyzed (1) the contexts in which centenarians appeared, (2) the relevance of the persons’ age to the event and (3) feelings and values evoked in the articles. On the one hand, news reports evoke how centenarians ought to be shielded from harm and emphasize the indignity of even small wrongdoings. On the other hand, feature articles often use superhuman adjectives to describe centenarians, and emphasize their “youthfulness”. In birthday features, there was also an expectation for centenarians to publicize their celebrations and there was a recurrent trope was that centenarians held well-kept secrets about ageing well. Portrayals of centenarians show that they are an esteemed group. However, we also interpret that these portrayals can hide other forms of ageism, particularly compassionate ageism, and a stereotyping of centenarians that play down ill health and emphasize youthfulness at the extremes of old age.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2022. Vol. 6, no Supplement 1, p. 661-661
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-60002DOI: 10.1093/geroni/igac059.2438ISI: 000913044003214Local ID: HOA;;866135OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-60002DiVA, id: diva2:1744918
Available from: 2023-03-21 Created: 2023-03-21 Last updated: 2023-03-21Bibliographically approved

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Torgé, Cristina JoyNyman, Rosita

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