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Old age in advertisements for garments
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, Media and communication studies.
2017 (English)In: Cultural narratives, processes and strategies in representations of age and aging: Cultural gerontology, 2017Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores how old age is represented in advertisements. Two cases are analyzed.  The cases are Gudrun Sjödén’s catalogues and an advertising campaign by a chain store: Åhléns.

The first case deals with the designer Gudrun Sjödén’s company and their catalogue, distributed by mail, before each new season. Sjödén is one of Sweden’s largest exporters of fashion. In Sweden the company has come to be associated with older women, whereas it in other countries is rather seen as ecological and colorful fashion, with stores in hip locations in e. g. London, New York, Berlin. In Sweden the catalogue is regarded as a mediated example where also older women are represented. This paper explores how this is done, using the perspective of the producers of the catalogue and an analysis of the visual material as well as interviews with women in the targeted age category, who have given their perspective on the imagery. 

The second case explores an advertising campaign by a Swedish chain of department stores, Åhléns. On billboards, in print and on-line they declared that clothes have no age limit. The company claimed authority through cooperation with a fashion scholar. Although the company stated their intent was to dissolve age limits, paradoxically they presented clearly stated such: for instance, crop tops, age limit 26, ripped jeans, 33, colorful sneakers, 43.  The visual material depicted slender models, in youthful postures dressed in garments associated with youth, with only a few visual clues connoting older age. The campaign, including the following discourse in newspapers, is analyzed.

The two cases, collected and analyzed with methods from several disciplines, especially media studies, discuss representations of old age in a time of changing cultural conceptions of ageing.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
aging, old age, gender, fashion, advertisements, media
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-24015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-24015DiVA: diva2:1096507
Conference
International symposium on cultural gerontology, 27-30 April 2017, Graz, Austria
Available from: 2017-05-18 Created: 2017-05-18 Last updated: 2017-07-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf