Social Groups: Age

How are different age groups represented?

  • —Headliners research– stereotypes of children include cute kids, little devils, kids these days etc.
  • —Children become active consumers- ‘pester power’- so media portrayals are important.
  • —Teenagers are often portrayed negatively- associated with drink, drugs, gangs etc.
  • —MORI- 57% of news stories on young people were negative.
  • —Moral panics can occur- Fawbert’s Hoodies at Bluewater study
  • —Elderly stereotypes- grumpy, burden, helpless.
  • —Biggs – TV sitcoms elderly are forgetful and difficult.
  • —Age Concern- underrepresentation – invisible elderly.


  • —Negative youth stereotype support from Wayne- youths shown as violent on TV
  • —Support from Mods and Rockers by Cohen
  • —Perhaps negative portrayals are not an issue because youths are less likely to complain to Ofcom.
  • —But they have the power to voice opinion online- biggest users of new media.
  • —Not only ageism- but sexism too- older females are less likely to be on TV.
  • —Ageism-  Arlene Phillips replaced on Strictly, yet Bruce Forsyth still presented.
  • —Stereotypes changing- Golden agers = fit and healthy. Dove campaign.
  • —Limited research in this area.



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