As the Western population becomes increasingly older, past definitions and concepts of old age no longer apply. Words which once used to be neutral are nowadays felt to be at least unrepresentative, if not downright offensive, thus both the specialized and the lay community are looking for new terms that defy ageist practices to refer to a relatively new demographic group, the ‘young-old’, which collects people aged between 55 and 75, who are retired, relatively healthy, and active. The paper aims at tracking the evolution over the last thirty years of the terms that refer to the oldest section of the population in the popular press, by analyzing a corpus of articles published by The New York Times and The Guardian between 1989 and 2018. The study follows the methodology of corpus-assisted discourse analysis, making use of both quantitative and qualitative methods, with specific insights into aging discourse studies. Although negative stereotypes still seem to be pervasive in media language, the analysis revealed how old age terminology has changed in the last few decades to accommodate to today’s older people and their wish to be referred to in more representative and respectful terms.

(2019). Changing terminology and discourse in the representation of older people in the UK and US lay press [journal article - articolo]. In EXPRESSIO. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/229073

Changing terminology and discourse in the representation of older people in the UK and US lay press

Rovelli, Giulia
2019

Abstract

As the Western population becomes increasingly older, past definitions and concepts of old age no longer apply. Words which once used to be neutral are nowadays felt to be at least unrepresentative, if not downright offensive, thus both the specialized and the lay community are looking for new terms that defy ageist practices to refer to a relatively new demographic group, the ‘young-old’, which collects people aged between 55 and 75, who are retired, relatively healthy, and active. The paper aims at tracking the evolution over the last thirty years of the terms that refer to the oldest section of the population in the popular press, by analyzing a corpus of articles published by The New York Times and The Guardian between 1989 and 2018. The study follows the methodology of corpus-assisted discourse analysis, making use of both quantitative and qualitative methods, with specific insights into aging discourse studies. Although negative stereotypes still seem to be pervasive in media language, the analysis revealed how old age terminology has changed in the last few decades to accommodate to today’s older people and their wish to be referred to in more representative and respectful terms.
articolo
Rovelli, Giulia
(2019). Changing terminology and discourse in the representation of older people in the UK and US lay press [journal article - articolo]. In EXPRESSIO. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/229073
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10446/229073
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