The common goal within AgeCap is for research and collaboration to increase people's opportunities for good and valuable aging.
Agedem consists of researchers from journalism, media and communication, political science, and law, who study different aspects of ageing from a social science perspective. This includes digital divisions, and the media image of older persons, consequences of ageing for democracy, and how the law relates to older persons.
There is also collaboration with other research groups within AgeCap.
Some examples of Agedem research
Media images of the older persons
When older people appear in the media, they are often stereotyped, but more often than not they are not present at all. When certain groups do not participate in the public discourse, this will have long term consequences for both freedom of expression and democracy. One side of the project investigates media representations of older people, and how these images relate to such dimensions as e.g. gender.
Another part of the project is about ageing competence among journalists. It investigates how the journalists can become better at reporting on ageing, as well as the ethical dilemmas that arise for journalists when interviewing older, fragile people.
What do digital media habits look like in the age group 65-85 years, with particular focus on the spread of digital applications? How do different uses attract different groups of older people?
Self-determination and discrimination
Planning and implementation of care should not be done without involving the older people. In practice, the requirements of respect for self-determination and integrity are not easy to handle. For example, how should one act when an older person does not want to receive care, or when an older person lacks insight into his or her needs and is unable to plan or implement care?
Another important area to investigate is the legal challenges faces by today's welfare system with an aging population. Increasing the retirement age is a solution which is often proposed, but which must be seen in relation to an increased focus on age-discrimination. Age has been one of the grounds for discrimination in Sweden under the Discrimination Act since 2009, and there is a real possibility that we in the future will have to deal with court cases involving discrimination of people beyond retirement.
Influence and mobilization of older people
Does the aging population pose a challenge for democracy, especially with regards to older persons' power and influence in politics? Living on your pension makes you more dependent on political decisions, and being more dependent on political decisions can create stronger interest groups that, in turn, can mobilize older people to make their voice heard. Being dependent on the welfare state and elements such as freedom of choice in health and care can also increase commitment and interest in politics. At the same time, such features as weakened memory, failing health, and living alone can be restraining factors that reduce commitment and interest in politics.