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Visibility Patterns of Age and Gender in the Media Buzz

Conference contribution
Authors Maria Edström
Published in 6th European communication Conference (ECREA). Prague: 9-12 November 2016
ISBN 978-80-906655-0-7
Publisher ECREA
Place of publication Prague
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Keywords Ageing, gender, age, visibility patterns, media, Agecap, Centre for Ageing and Health
Subject categories Gender Studies, Communication Studies


Age and gender are important visibility factors in the media. Other factors are class, elite status, ethnicity and whether the person belongs to the majority population or not. This paper investigates visibility in the media buzz, the flow of mass media images surrounding us. Earlier studies indicate that youth and youthfulness are important capitals, especially for women in the media. Older people are almost invisible, and what is more, regardless of gender. The lack of voice and visibility of the growing numbers of elders limits both for the public debate and level knowledge about ageing. It also affects the elder themselves, since their lived experiences and opinions are not heard. This can be interpreted as a lack of visibility, or with the word of Tuchman, a symbolic annihilation (Tuchman 1978). The question is then if age and gender are reinforcing each other when it comes to visibility in the media.

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