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Våra äldre: Om konstruktioner av äldre i offentligheten
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Society, Diversity, Identity. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2008 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Our elderly : On the social construction of older people in public discourse (English)
Abstract [sv]

Detta är en studie av hur ’äldre’ som språklig och social kategori samt åldrande som process konstrueras i tre sammanlänkade offentligheter. Avhandlingens övergripande syfte är att studera och kritiskt granska olika sätt varpå ’äldre’ som kategori förstås och representeras i relation till pågående omförhandlingar av innebörden i den senare delen av livet som livsfas. Valet av material har gjorts utifrån utgångspunkten att medierade offentligheters betydelse för bildandet och upprätthållandet av sociala och kollektiva identiteter, liksom deras roll som platser för diskussion om hur samhället ska organiseras, har ökat. Studien utgår från tre kontrasterande empiriska material; artiklar från dagstidningar, texter från ett pensionärsparti, och en offentlig utredning om den framtida svenska äldrepolitiken. Det studerade materialet är publicerat mellan 2002 och 2004 Genom att materialen analyseras som ingående i en dialog med varandra, ett offentligt samtal, synliggörs relationerna mellan olika konstruktioner. Skillnaderna mellan de olika materialen är betydande. Men analysen visar också på hur samma argument och föreställningar finns närvarande i alla tre offentligheter. Hur ’äldre’ som kategori konstrueras i de olika materialen är relaterat till olika föreställningar både om äldre människor och deras samhälleliga status, men också om samhället och nationen som en föreställd gemenskap. Studien visar bland annat att ’äldre’ är en kategori som det talas om, men inte till. Det är också sällan som ’äldre’ är en position det talas utifrån. I samklang med detta konstrueras kategorin som ett objekt för den nationella gemenskapens ansvar och omsorg.

Abstract [en]

This is a study of how ‘older people’ as a linguistic and social category, and ageing as a process, is constructed in three interrelated publics. The aim of the thesis is to study and critically investigate the different ways in which ‘older people’ as a category is understood and represented in relation to ongoing negotiations about the meaning of later life as a stage of life. The increased significance of mediated publics for the formation and maintenance of social and collective identities, as well as their role as spaces for deliberation on the organization of society, is a starting point for the study and has bearing on the choice of data. The study is based on three contrastive sets of empirical material; newspaper articles, texts from a pensioner’s party, and a government report on the future old age policy of Sweden. The studied texts were published during the period 2002 – 2004. The publics have been studied as in a dialogical relation with each other. This strategy highlights the relations between different constructions of the category. The differences between the publics are significant. At the same time the analysis also shows overlaps of arguments and in the way that the category is understood between the publics. The ways that ‘older people’ are constructed in the material is related to different notions about older people and their societal status. But also to ideas about society and the nation as an imagined community. The study shows, among other things, that ‘older people’ is a category that is spoken about, rather than to. ‘Older people’ rarely functions as a subject in the studied material. In relation to this, the category is constructed as an object for the care and responsibility of the national community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2008. , 256 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 450
Keyword [en]
Age, older people, pensioner, ageism, ethnicity, social gerontology, discourse, life course, official government reports, SOU, newspapers, party politics, pensioner’s parties, public sphere
Keyword [sv]
Ålder, äldre, pensionär, etnicitet, ålderism, socialgerontologi, diskurs, livslopp, statens offentliga utredningar, SOU, dagstidningar, partipolitik, pensionärsparti, offentlighet
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14934ISBN: 978-91-7393-807-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-14934DiVA: diva2:25626
Public defence
2008-10-24, K1, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2015-04-01Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Magnus

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Citation style
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