O3.3 Arts and humanities
Chair: Kariann Krohne
O3.3.1 Men in the third Age and their lived experiences of engaging in music
Örebro University, Sweden
The “third age”, defined as the period after retirement when people are free to engage in anything that interests them, can lead to new interests and activities as well as stress, depression and health deterioration. To engage in a meaningful occupation is crucial for the experience of wellbeing in this stage. One such occupation can be engagement in music, shown to have substantial health and wellbeing benefits.
There are specific health challenges for older men, such as loneliness, depression and a heightened risk for suicide. These are tied to the norms of masculinity, and often overlooked in both gerontology and research on men and masculinities. There are no previous studies on older men, music and wellbeing.
The aim of this study is to explore how men in the third age use music, and how this can be understood to interplay with their subjective wellbeing.
This qualitative study is based on 14 semi-structured interviews with men aged 66-76, musically engaged in various ways although not professionally. The interviews have been analysed with thematic analysis.
The analysis suggests two main themes: the role of music for emotions, and the role of music for social relationships.
This study implies that older men who engage in music use music to experience and enhance emotions, and as a mediator for social contacts and relationships. This suggests a wider and more positive view on men, than the often-stated stereotype for men to be emotionally and socially inhibited.
O3.3.2 Masculinity, ageing and dress: The embodied gender of everyday life
University of Kent, UK
Background: the presentation reports a study of the role of dress in the constitution of later life masculinities in UK, contrasting its results with an earlier study of older women. In doing so, it explores the role of the everyday and the material in the constitution of the lives of older people. It forms part of the wider intellectual movement of Cultural Gerontology that aims to expand the contexts in which we explore later years. Methods: qualitative interviews with 24 men in UK aged 58-85, selected to display a range in terms of social class, occupation, sexuality, employment and relationship status. Results: The men’s comments were marked by continuity, both with their younger selves and with mainstream masculinity, of which they still felt themselves to be part. Dress for them was not, by and large, seen through the lens of age. This contrasted with the women for whom the age coding of dress was pervasive. Dress for some men, however, could be part of wider moral engagement, expressive of values linked positively to age.Conclusion: Dress in age thus displayed some of the ways in gender remains significant in later years, allowing men to retain aspects of earlier gender privilege, at least until later stages of bodily decline.
O3.3.3 Where seniors becomes like children again. Senior camps in the Swedish media discourse.
Janicke Andersson, Lisa Ekstam, Gabriella Nilsson
Lund University, Sweden
At a time the world’s population is increasingly ageing and there is a strong discourse on active ageing in both science and social policy, new examples of interventions aimed at engaging older people in health promoting and social activities are constantly appearing. One example of such a project designed for seniors is senior summer camps, which began to appear in Sweden in the late twentieth century and have since been growing in number. Senior camps have their background in summer camps for children. The first summer camp for children was established in Sweden in 1883. This presentation will focus on how senior camps are portrait and talked about in media. A CDA analysis of Swedish Newspaper articles on senior camps displays that the general media picture of senior camps is that they are allowing a playfulness that connotes childhood. A commonly described positive effect of a stay at a senior camp is that the seniors are becoming like children again. It seems like the dichotomy child-senior becomes appealing in this context and that it creates specific framework when writing about senior camps in media. This leads us into a reasoning about societal responsibility, welfare and how certain groups are identified as care takers and others as care givers, where the power to give care is linked to normality and the right to define the ones who are deviant and in need.
O3.3.4 Images of Ageing in 50+ Magazine
Kirsi Lumme-Sandt, Sanna Kivimäki
University of Tampere, Finland
The ET-lehti, twice a month magazine, directed mainly to 50+ people has been as one of the most popular magazines in Finland for five decades. By presenting the ideal image of old age, it gives to readers possibility to identify themselves. From the beginning, the main form of articles has been interviews and portrait interviews of older adults, which is our research focus in this presentation.
Using the ideas of frame analysis, we have found out in what kind of context older people are interviewed in different decades. This presentation focuses on what kind of ageing person's identity is produced by the ET-lehti and how this has evolved during a 50-year interval. The data consists of the 1976, 1986, 1996, 2006 and 2016 volumes of ET-lehti.
In older magazines, especially in 1976 and 1986 interviewed older people were mainly prominent figures in politics or culture and mostly men. Old age was seen as time of renunciation. The focus was to the past life. In 2000s’ the range of interviewed people has become wider in sense of gender, occupation and societal status. The main focus in articles is more in present day and future plans.
Nowadays old age is no longer seen as a continuum of an identity of working years. On the contrary, activities and interests in old age can be quite different than in earlier years. The magazine encourages its readers to fulfill their dreams and to try out new things with examples of interviewees.
O3.3.5 Biographical perspective of old persons’ everyday life with media in nursing homes
Christine E. Swane
EGV Foundation (Social Inclusion of Older Adults), Denmark
Background: Old people living in nursing homes embody the notion of the ‘fourth age’ as recipients of personal care, medicine, meals, and organised activities in an institutional setting. People in nursing homes are also part of a society in which media have become a regular feature of everyday life. Yet, there is little knowledge about the importance of media use among ill and frail, old persons. This presentation explores institutionalised old persons’ interaction with a variety of media technologies – bracketing for a moment institutional care practices.
Methods: Empirical data were constructed through ethnographic fieldwork conducted in three Danish municipal nursing homes in winter 2014-15. The material has the form of notes from talks, observations, photos, voice and video recordings and transcribed qualitative interviews with totally 39 residents, primarily in their private residences.
Research results: The concepts ‘the biographical situation’, coined by Alfred Schutz, and ‘domestication’ as elaborated by Roger Silverstone, have been applied in the analysis of residents’ use of media artefacts, with a body in pain and lost physical and cognitive functionality. The study reveals how media are meaningful and important for residents in making an institutional dwelling ‘their home’. E.g. subscribing to a newspaper even with a very poor eyesight, mainly reading headlines, to remain oriented to the world around, as one of few autonomous routines in institutional everyday life.
Conclusions: Old persons’ interaction with media bridges the gap between everyday life in the nursing home institution and a long life’s participation in social and cultural worlds outside.
O3.3.6 Learning to be Old – Doing Age in Educational Programmes for Older Adults
Viktoria Parisot, Vera Gallistl, Julia Wenzel
University of Vienna, Austria
Background. While research has shown positive effects of participation in educational programmes on older adults’ quality of life and social inclusion, it has hardly considered effects on older adults’ images of ageing. Placing the meaning of age in the centre of our empirical analysis, we pose the question: How is ageing negotiated among participants, teachers and organizations in seniors’ education? How are educational programmes linked to certain notions of what it means to be old?
Methods. This paper draws upon two qualitative case studies in programmes of seniors’ education, namely a) a yodelling seminar, b) a dance seminar. Using Adele Clarke’s (2012) situational analysis, we analyse how participants and teachers refer to meanings of age and how they are manifested in the practices of the analysed educational programmes.
Results. Results emphasize the role of shared habiti in educational programmes. Each of the analysed programmes enacted and reproduced a system of norms and beliefs, which participants as well as trainers shared. In the case of the analysed dance course, a “habitus of distinction” constructed the image of the active and self-determined third ager, while in the yodelling seminar, a “habitus of communication” emphasized traditional values for older adults, such as intergenerational communication, tranquillity and dignity.
Implications. Results emphasize how seniors’ education programmes construct notions of what it means to be old as a shared practice between participants, teachers and organizations. Practitioners in the field of seniors’ education should take the negotiations of age and ageing into account when planning seniors’ education.