Critical perspectives on media representations of ageing in the Australian press: Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), Daily Telegraph, Newsonline, The Australian and The Conversation, 2010 - 2016
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 14:47 by Vivienne Selwyn
This thesis critically examines Australian newspaper representations of ageing people 55 years and over between January 2010 and March 2016. This research fills a gap in Australian Cultural Studies research on ageing. I draw on disciplines such as gerontology, sociology, welfare and politics in my framing of ageing. This thesis identifies two discourses of ageing; ageing as an inevitable decline and active ageing. I analyse the complex relationship between these two discourses, as they appear in debates over health and the economy. This thesis explores the way these two discourses inform the visual and textual elements of newspaper coverage in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, Newsonline.com.au, The Australian and The Conversation. Patterns in representations in Australian newspapers identified in this thesis include the representations of ageing Australians as posing a pressing social and economic problem. Newspapers represent older people as a homogenous group, with little representation of ethnic diversity or class differences. A further underpinning assumption is the need for this homogenous group to accept scientific, medical, political and policy knowledge to manage their health and activities as they age. These representations are fundamental to social inclusion within mainstream Australian society or exclusionary ‘othering’ from it.