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Representation of age in American TV Dramas
Transcript of Representation of age in American TV Dramas
-in a relationship or willing to get into one
-professionals (Suits - lawyers, FBI investigators in Crime TV Dramas, Mad Men - advertising, House of Cards, Grey's Anatomy - doctors )
-soap operas tend to be dominated by middle aged characters
(25-60 years old)
See representation of GENDER for more:
Dr. David McQueen
* argued that there were some generalisations that could be made on age:
- helpless and innocent
– irresponsible and non-conformist
– responsible and conformist
– vulnerable and a burden
(over 60 year-olds)
Historically, children were seen as
Children had the same punishments and
worked from a young age
See Season 1,
Episode 1 "Method and Madness"
drama, 8.6/10, Cinemax
min. 31:39 - 34:15
From the 19th century on childhood was seen as more of a period of
was seen as more important than employment.
Representation of age in American TV Dramas
the common views and issues regarding the representation in media of people of all ages.
that the learned technical visual elements create specific representations of individuals, groups, events or places and help to articulate specific messages and values that have social significance.
analyse how people of different ages are represented in a given video extract.
*lecturer at Bournemouth University and his research interests include questions of media & power, conflict coverage and PR.
Victims of horrendous crimes
Madeline McCann and James Bulger are examples of this. Critics of the media have suggested that white children who are victims of crime get more media attention.
This is a common stereotype found in television adverts for baby products.
Perhaps as child prodigies or as heroes for saving an adult's life.
As brave little angels
Suffering from long-term or terminal disease or a disability.
The media may focus on how children ‘these days’ know so much more ‘at their age’ than previous generations of children.
in "The Middle"
7 Stereotypes of children in media
As victims of horrendous crimes
As little devils
As brave little angels
Now childhood is very distinguishable from adulthood
Stories from celebrities such as the Beckham's and the Kardashian’s may focus on how their children humanize them.
This stereotype is usually found in drama and comedy TV series. An example of a ‘little devil’ is Bart Simpson from the cartoon The Simpsons.
"When it comes to young people...
bad news is good news for newspapers."
Long future ahead
All youths believe that the
have it in for them.
Negative stereotypes as
hoodie wearing criminals
Young people are portrayed by the media as
alcoholics and drug abusers, criminals, lazy, complaining and aggressive.
A common misconception for parents is that every middle school kid of this generation is
conceited, gossip-ridden, hormone-raging and naive.
This is a
. The irony of labeling children with stereotypes is not just hypocritical, but a huge
: the amount of time during which a person or animal has lived
: the amount of time during which a thing has existed
: the time of life when a person does something or becomes legally able to do something
defying old age: http://www.boredpanda.com/senior-citizen-ageing-stereotypes-age-of-happiness-vladimir-yakovlev/#post0
Part of the media is very youth obsessed which implies that we prefer to look at images of young, smooth-skinned models. This shows youth as the 'hegemonic norm'.
The Neo-Marxist view of the representation of youth in the media
– Sitcoms show older people as feeble, vague and forgetful, and miserable.
Lambert et al
– found 50% of programmes had people over the age of 60.
Not in control of their own bodies
Unwilling to try new things
Old people in media
Youth obsessed media
Societies shifted from
economies, where older men had traditionally owned the land, to
economies, when work was no longer centred in the home and older persons lost authority.
= burdens to families and society
Media emphasizing the “burdens” of growing old. - distorted view of ageing.
Old people venerated and appreciated in their communities for their
= institutional memory
that was of adaptive – even
value to society
People influenced by deeply held human concerns and fears about the
inherent in the later years of life.
= Such feelings can translate into
contempt and neglect.
Origins of Ageism:
def.: stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of their age.
by Robert N. Butler, founder of the International Longevity Center (ILC) in New York
Pensioners stereotyped as being
They are not wanted and a
burden to their family.
Old people as
unproductive, have to go to bed early, need a nap every day, are in the "happiest" period of their lives, cannot manage their own affairs, and are in their second childhood.
double standards of ageing
Women need to match up to the youthful ideals where men are not.
Beauty industry devalues ageing, e.g. products are targeted at reducing perceived age.
- also they may possess supernatural powers:
: telekinesis and the ability to see the future
, 2014, Fantasy/Drama/Sci-Fi, 7.3/10, NBC, dir. Alfonso Cuaron(Gravity) + the movie "Matilda"
Misfits 2009 – 2013 – Comedy/Drama/Fantasy, 8.4/10, E4 (UK) Five juvenile offenders with nothing in common find themselves working together on a community service project, and their differing personalities soon cause sparks to fly. But that's nothing compared to what happens when a freak electrical storm hits town. Shortly thereafter, they find that they are developing superpowers. Paranoid Kelly can now hear the thoughts of others, while Simon, who has always been overlooked, can suddenly make himself invisible. Curtis can turn back time, while Alisha finds that anyone who touches her will lust after her. Nathan, to his chagrin, seems to have suffered no aftereffects of the storm. Now, on top of dealing with the realities of teenage life and finishing their service project, they must figure out how to handle their new abilities and find out just what, if anything, they are expected to do with them.
= a young person who is "Not in Education, Employment, or Training". The acronym NEET was first used in the United Kingdom but its use has spread to other countries including Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.