Doing Age with Humour: Representations of (Old) Age in Web-based GLBTQ Communities
2010 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Internet offers new forms of establishing contacts and presenting the self and can, as a social arena, be seen as particularly important for homo-, bi- and transsexual persons in old age. Many old persons within the LGBTQ community have experienced shame and stigma during their lives since non-normative sexuality has been seen as deviant, perverted - and during certain time periods in a Swedish context - even as a disease or as criminal. In web-based gay communities where persons seek friends, partners and sexual contacts, the personal profiles vary from shorter personal descriptions with mug shots to more explicit pornographic texts with pictures of the naked body. This study aims to explore how age is expressed, used and negotiated in these personal profiles.
The qualitative analysis concerns profiles from two different web-based gay communities of persons identifying as non-heterosexual aged 60 and over. These profiles constitute the empirical material supplemented by qualitative in depth interviews conducted with persons in these communities.
Results point at humour being central when negotiating old age in these profiles. Self-irony is recurring and dark humour is used to speak against ageist notions of old age. Humour is also used through the use of proverbs and puns related to ageing and old age. Notions of old age as connected to passivity, slowness, humorlessness and asexuality are challenged through these ways of “doing age with humour”. The analysis thus indicates that these web-based communities can be an arena for agency and for challenging ideas of old age.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Old age, ageing, marketability, GLBTQ, humour, dating advertisments
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-65680OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-65680DiVA: diva2:398103
Gerontological society of America 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting