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  • Author: Christa Lykke Christensen x
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Abstract

The media are, for many older people, one of the most important sources of information about health. In this article, I examine older people’s experiences and use of media to acquire knowledge about health issues relating to their own life. Key questions concern how media influence older people’s perceptions of health and to what extent they trust the media in relation to health issues. The study demonstrates that the media do not have a uniform influence among older people. For some, the media function as a guide to maintaining and experimenting with an active lifestyle in late life; for others, the media are met with a skeptical attitude as they are not trusted as a source of reliable and unequivocal information on health issues. The study is based on a qualitative interview study with men and women between 65 and 86 years.

Abstract

This article studies how the Danish advocacy group for older people, (the DaneAge Association, or DAA), of which around 46 per cent of all Danes over the age of 65 are members, visually represents older people. The study gains theoretical inspiration from media and cultural-gerontological theories concerning the cultural influence of media representations of older people, and the connected perceptions of what it means to be and to grow old. The study is based on an analysis of a sample of 59 photographs that appeared on DAA’s website in the period 2016−2018. The results indicate a dominant visual representation of older people as happy, socially involved and extroverted, while representations of older people as weak, introverted and alone constitute a minority. In conclusion, the organisation visually promote a positive image of older people, at the same time as they represent them as excluded from other age groups and from culture and society in general.

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