ERIC Number: ED303148
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: N/A
Prime Time Women. An Analysis of Older Women on Entertainment Television.
This study examined the portrayal of women over the age of 50 on television, analyzed the demographics of older female television characters and compared them with their real-life counterparts, and examined the social message presented by the characters and programs. Analyses of data gathered from prime time network entertainment programs featuring older female characters indicated that, although older women are more positively portrayed than they were 20 years ago, the television characters are just as unrealistic as the negative portrayals were. The older women characters appear more glamorous than their real life counterparts, often look extremely youthful for their age, and do not face as many of the problems that their real life counterparts do. As is the case with race portrayals, television often ignores the realities of situations, and thus, women are not depicted dealing with such real life issues as age discrimination, aging parents, and economic self-sufficiency. In order to portray aging more realistically, television networks must hire more producers and writers who are themselves older and who can write from their own life experiences, or who can develop links with older persons so that their stories can be told. The broadcast industry should also reach out to advocacy groups for older women in an effort to make portrayals more realistic, and older viewers should let their opinions be known through letters to the networks. (EW)
Descriptors: Commercial Television, Employed Women, Middle Aged Adults, Older Adults, Programing (Broadcast), Sex Role, Sex Stereotypes, Television Research
National Commission on Working Women, 1325 G Street NW, Lower Level, Washington, DC 20005 ($5.00 prepaid).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Commission on Working Women, Washington, DC.
Note: For related reports, see IR 013 616-622.