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Consumerism v. Constructing Older Age: A Case Study of Over-Fifties Life Insurance TV Advertising

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Representing Ageing

Abstract

Media images of older people have been studied for some years. There has been fairly extensive research into how older adults (typically defined as 50+) are portrayed in various media (see Robinson, Skill and Turner, 2004 for a review), such as TV programmes (Harwood and Giles, 1992; Harwood and Anderson, 2002; Kessler, Rakoczy and Staudinger, 2004), print (for example Ursic, Ursic and Ursic, 1986; Carrigan and Szmigin, 1998; Harwood and Roy, 1999; Robinson, Gustafson and Popovich, 2008) and TV adverts (for example Swayne and Greco, 1987; Roy and Harwood, 1997; Miller, Leyell and Mazachek, 2004; Simcock and Sudbury, 2006; Lee, Carpenter and Meyers, 2007). Much of this research has been conducted using content analysis and it has been suggested that although older people (especially women) are underrepresented in the media, advertising, as opposed to media in general, tends to depict older people positively rather than negatively (Harwood and Roy, 1999; Simcock and Sudbury, 2006). Furthermore, compared with advertisements in newspapers or magazines aimed at the general public, it has been suggested that adverts in those designed for older people are more likely to portray them in a favourable fashion (Roberts and Zhou, 1997; Carrigan and Szmigin, 1999; Williams et al., 2010).

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© 2012 Chin-Hui Chen and Virpi Ylänne

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Chen, CH., Ylänne, V. (2012). Consumerism v. Constructing Older Age: A Case Study of Over-Fifties Life Insurance TV Advertising. In: Ylänne, V. (eds) Representing Ageing. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137009340_3

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