Stereotypes Associated With Age-related Conditions and Assistive Device Use in Canadian Media: Table 1.

  • Sarah Anne Fraser, Virginia Kenyon, Martine Lagacé, Walter Wittich, Kenneth Edmund Southall
  • The Gerontologist, July 2015, Oxford University Press (OUP)
  • DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnv094

How print media maintain stereotypes about older adults with age-related health conditions

What is it about?

Our research team examined which stereotypes are being maintained or counteracted in Canadian print media when writing about older adults and their health status, specifically in the context of using assistive technologies. Our results indicated that education about the realities of age-related health changes and assistive devices is needed in order to diminish stereotypes and encourage assistive device uptake and use.

Why is it important?

Newspapers are an important source of information. The discourses within the media can influence public attitudes and support or discourage stereotypical portrayals of older individuals. Our study critically examined discourses within a Canadian newspaper (Globe & Mail) in terms of stereotypical depictions of age-related health conditions and assistive technology devices. Given the anticipated increase in the proportion of older adults in society, we need to examine our preconceived ideas about assistive technology and aging, because many older adults can greatly benefit from such devices, increasing their quality of life and independence.

Perspectives

Dr Walter Wittich
Universite de Montreal

This project introduced several of the team members to the methodology of discourse analysis, and initiated an interest in qualitative research methods among those of the team that were mainly trained in quantitative approaches to aging research. We all now benefit from a more rounded understanding of how to approach and understand the realities of older adults.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnv094

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Walter Wittich