Stereotyping - Age

  • Created by: fayegriff
  • Created on: 02-06-15 11:02


Age Groups Stereotypes

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Young - A threat to society


COHEN (2002) - young are relatively powerless and easily identifiable.

  • Mods & Rockers moral panic - young were demonized and represented as a violent threat to society.
  • 2001 UK riots - labelled in the same way; potentially troublesome and as an anti-social 'problem' group.

+ Highlights ways in which young people are labelled as folk devils or as a dangerous threat to society.

- POSTMODERNISTS: MCROBBIE & THORNTON - become pointless to talk about moral panics because they are so frequent as to be almost continuous. 

E.G - since 2000, wide variety of moral panic concerning the young including knife crime, gang ****, binge drinking, hoodies, teenage pregnancy and gun crime.

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Young women - new 'deviant' stereotype


In the past, girls have recieved less media attention than boys, who were seen as the main perpetrators of crime and antisocial behaviour. This has changed...

  • Girl gangs
  • Laddette binge drinking

E.G: TV show 'From Laddette to Lady' moves away from traditional female stereotypes of domestic housewives but still conform to older stereotypes of youth being seen as a deviant social problem.

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Young women - Sex objects


CONNELL (2005) - beauty myth

  • Women should be assessed primarily in terms of their appearance as they attempt to fulfil the hegemonic definition of female beauty or sex object to find and keep a man.
  • Often expected to be young and attractive through the predominance of cosmetics, fashion and plastic surgery advertisements in women's magazines.
  • Unattainable size zero feminine beauty which can be linked to eating disorders and anorexia.

NEO-MARXISTS - The Cultural Effects Model

  • Effects tend to be gradual and long-term like a 'drip feed'.
  • Media continually present an image of the perfect female form, likely to filter into the audience's consciousness and may cause disorders in the long term.

E.G: Two 2007 reports by Girlguiding UK --> over half 16-25 year olds resented media pressures. Under 10 - linked appearance to happiness and self-esteem. Age of 7 - girls who were slim and pretty were more likely to be happy, friendly and clever.

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BIGGS (1993) - Older people as forgetful

  • UK TV sitcoms present older people as forgetful and difficult, poor, in ill-health, anit-social, incapable of work and grumpy.

+ Draws our attention to main stereotypes in a vairty of ppopular TV shows. 

E.G: Grandpa from 'The Simpsons' often falls asleep mid-sentence and Nana from 'The Royale Family' is viewed as a figure of fun becuase of her forgetfullness. 

BLAIKIE book in 1998 'Ageing and Popular Culture' argues that stereotypes are changing. Older people are now allowed to be **** and the phrase 'mutton dressed as lamb' is no longer applied to celebrities like Mick Jagger, Madonna, Cher and George Clooney as they the over 50s have now far more positive images. 

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Comparison of older men & women

CUDDY & FISKE (2004)

  • Older men in a positive light --> as sexual partners of younger women.

E.G: in Hollywood Bond films like Daniel Craig who is presented as sexually attractive to his much younger female side-kick.

  • Older women have few positive images --> often rendered invisible as they're expected to be forever young and youthful.

+ FEMINISTS: Argue that ageism is liberally mixed with sexism. US survey in 2001, 33% of prime-time male characters were over 40, compared to 19% of female characters. Hollywood is more guilty as males are usually less than the leading lady's age.

- POSTMODERNISTS: more images of women, with money to spend (the 'grey pound') mean we may expect more positive roles for older women, as media conglomerates pursue the growing older people's market. 

E.G: the Dove Pro-Age campaign - beauty products to older people focusing on using nude female models generally over 50 to advertise soaps and moisturisers. 

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