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Depictions of ageing

In this video, Virpi Timonen talks about different depictions of ageing throughout the ages.

We are presented with many conflicting images of ageing and old age in the media, in art, in books, and on the internet.

  • Negative images of ageing can lead to generalisations that are unhelpful and damaging. For example, this can include messages that older adults are a burden.

  • However, portrayals that are extremely positive can also be problematic if they suggest that all older adults must adhere to a specific ideal of what it is to age well.

Ageing is a dynamic process. We understand ageing, through our behaviours and through our reactions to the images of ageing that we see around us.

  • Describe an image of an older person you have seen in an advertisement, on television, or on the internet.
  • Do you think this image gives an accurate or inaccurate depiction of an older person? Use the Comments section to share your thoughts.

Virpi Timonen is a Professor in Social Policy and Ageing at Trinity College Dublin.

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