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Media Representation of Life Stages: Analysis of Photographs Posted on Norrköping Municipal Facebook Accounts
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division Ageing and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4274-5468
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division Ageing and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division Ageing and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3033-9879
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division Ageing and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8697-1876
2019 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Aim: It has been found by researchers that older adults are statistically underrepresented and associated with negative stereotypes in the mass media. Older adults are generally viewed as incompetent from stereotyped media content, which may make them socially excluded from a set of opportunities and resources. The media portrayals are conceived as value-expressive and constructing the image of older adults and ageing. The purpose of this study is to investigate how Norrköping municipality portrays citizens at different life stages in social media with a special emphasis on the use of age stereotypes in the photos used.

Method: The material consists of the photos collected from 32 Facebook accounts produced by municipal bodies during the entire year of 2018. The analysis is based on a categorization of various features of the photos in order to statistically describe the relation between signs, activities and contexts associated with distinct life stages. Further, the meaning of frequently-used symbols in the photographs is analysed.

Result: The study concludes that old age persons are numerically underrepresented in the material. A number of signs and activities in the photographs, and contexts beyond the photographs, that stereotypically corresponded to five distinct life stages (infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age) are identified. Old age is repetitively portrayed in the context of coffee drinking and foot bathing on Norrköping municipality’s Facebook page, while adolescence is depicted with practical training at high schools to an excessive degree. Besides, the result suggests that certain minorities of citizens did not show up in the municipal social media: people with disabilities, migrants, people with dementia and on forth.

Conclusion: The municipality communicates stereotypical images of life stages through associating with specific contexts in the photographic coverage. Therefore, communication professionals need to be aware of the stereotypical construction of life stages in the media.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-158438OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-158438DiVA, id: diva2:1333078
Conference
The International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics European Region Congress 2019, Gothenburg, Sweden, 23-25 May, 2019
Projects
ITN EuroAgeism
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020Available from: 2019-06-29 Created: 2019-06-29 Last updated: 2019-08-30Bibliographically approved

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Xu, WenqianTaghizadeh Larsson, AnnikaHydén, Lars-ChristerMotel, Andreas

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Xu, WenqianTaghizadeh Larsson, AnnikaHydén, Lars-ChristerMotel, Andreas
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