ERIC Number: ED337836
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Jun-27
The Elderly on Television: Changing Stereotypes.
A study examined the visual presentation of characters on five prime time network dramas, popular with the elderly, which star elderly actors. The title sequences of each show ("Murder, She Wrote,""The Golden Girls,""Matlock,""Jake and the Fatman," and "In the Heat of the Night") were analyzed. Results indicated seven significant interrelated generalizations: the elderly characters were: (1) at the center of the shows; (2) presented as powerful members of the community; (3) affluent; (4) always healthy and physically and socially active; (5) portrayed as mentally active; (6) looked up to and admired; and (7) seen as sexy but not sensual. Findings suggest that although reverse positive stereotypes seem to be prominent, images of patriarchy and the affluent elderly still hold sway on TV. Since the America population is aging rapidly (1 out of every 6 Americans is 60 years and older) mass media scholars should questions whether the images of the elderly on television are appropriate measures of the elderly in society. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Visual Communication Conference (5th, Breckenridge, CO, June 27-28, 1991).