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Ageing consumers


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This presentation was made for a conference in September 2009 in Milan. The conference theme was Media and Generations

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Ageing consumers

  1. 1. Maria Ekström (Suokannas)
  2. 2. Older consumer 75 years
  3. 3. Older media consumer
  4. 4.  Articles from trade magazines Interviews with media and marketing professionals Advertisements from magazines
  5. 5. Ways of talking about ageing consumers and how they are depicted in images
  6. 6.  To put forward a culturally constructed view on age where age identity is seen as constructed and negotiated constantly in the realm of encounters between media and the media consumer To talk about how age is constructed culturally and how it can be found in language use and in different targeted communicative multimodal acts (advertisements, videos, photos, art etc.).
  7. 7.  Chronological age Cognitive age  feel-age, look-age, do-age och interest-age Subjective age Cultural age  How different ideologies shape ”borders” for interpreting your age and how your age identity is constructed
  8. 8. • Obviously, the lifespan must be seen as something more than a biological fact; it is a discursive or imagined production, symbolic of a culture’s beliefs about living and aging […] (Katz, 1996:39)
  9. 9.  Advertising performs much the same function in industrial society as myth performed in ancient and primitive societies: It is both the creator and perpetuator of the dominant attitudes, values, and ideology of culture, as well as the social norms and myths by which most people live” (Kilbourne 2004: 252)
  10. 10. • In other words there is no point looking for the language ‘of’ advertising; rather we need to explore the operation of language ‘in’ advertising, as one aspect of the operation of language across and ‘in’ all of society (Kress 1987:123-124)
  11. 11.  Living persons are required to `take up subject positions in discourse in order to make sense of the world and appear coherent to others. A subject position is that perspective or set of regulated discursive meanings from which discourse makes sense. To speak is to take up a subject position and to be subjected to the regulatory power of that discourse. (Barker 2001:13)
  12. 12.  I read through the texts with the aim to find themes which are the building blocks (using concepts as chains of equivalence, antagonism and lived ideology) I read other texts (novels e.g) which accentuated the discourse
  13. 13.  Senior Radical Forever young Hedonist Soulful
  14. 14.  THEMES: Antisenior, Mass market, Irreversible ageing, Invisbility, Stereotypes, Born before the second world war, Boredom ANTAGONISTIC TOWARDS: Discourses that do not accept biological, natural ageing SYMBOLS: Rocking chair, Slippers, Rollator, Knitting SUBJECT POSITION: The elderly as greyhaired (negative), wrinkled, quiet, passive and ailing
  15. 15.  THEMES: Activity, Antisenior, Diversification, Change agency, Cognitive age/Feel-age, Commodification of age, Radicality, Rock-n-roll, social creativity ANTAGONISTIC TOWARDS: Discourses that talk about inactiveness, silence and calmness SYMBOLS: Rock music, Parties, Barricades SUBJECT POSITION: The elderly as the radical who changes the image of old age, those who were young in the sixties
  16. 16.  THEMES: Eternal youth, Up-to-date, Cognitive-age/Feel-age, Commodification of age, Market potential, Social creativity ANTAGONISTIC TOWARDS: Discourses that only accept the irreversible ageing process (chronological age). The same as the Radical discourse SYMBOLS: Botox, Products promising eternal youth SUBJECT POSITION: The elderly as eternally young and identifying themselves with the youth
  17. 17.  THEMES: Hedonism, Not-born-before the second world war, Qualityminded, Market potential ANTAGONISTIC TOWARDS: Discourses that describe the elderly as misers who only want to buy special offers SYMBOLS: Kroisos, Champagne, Golden SUBJECT POSITION: The elderly as rich and hedonistic with an expensive taste
  18. 18.  THEMES: Body-mind (spiritual age), Wisdom ANTAGONISTIC TOWARDS: Discourses that emphasize the body and looks instead of the soul SYMBOLS: Grey colour as something beautiful SUBJECT POSITION: The elderly as wise and experienced and as a mentor for younger generations
  19. 19. Go for the discourseor against it?
  20. 20.  Why is it that so often attempts to speak about ageing in a positive light result in a denial of ageing [… ] Old people are in fact young people? Really? What happens to all the years they have lived, the things they have learned, the selves they have evolved from and the selves they are becoming? (Andrews 1999:309)
  21. 21. © j koivusalo
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  25. 25. © j koivusalo