Ageing, old age and media: Critical appraisal of knowledge practices in academic research

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Sara Mosberg Iversen
Monika Wilinska


This interpretative literature review discusses research published between 2000 and 2015 that focuses on the media representation of older adults. The key objective is to offer a critical discussion on the knowledge and assumptions underlying such studies. Specifically, the review examines how old age and media, respectively, are conceptualised in the research and the consequence this has for further research in the fields of ageing and media studies. The main finding from this review is that a large part of the research appears to say nothing about what old age and media are, as it either entirely fails to discuss what is meant by these terms or relies on common sense notions. The review concludes that research on older age and media suffers from a lack of dialogue over disciplinary borders and that this issue needs to be remedied. Likewise, for research to move on, it is imperative to take a more reflexive stance on the topics in order to avoid simplistic notions of both ageing and media.


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