1 x 10-hour independent study weekly
1 x 2-hour on-line exercises weekly
1 x 1-hour on-line lecture weekly
5 x 1-hour on-line tutorials per semester
1 Admission into BHA-Bachelor of Healthy Ageing
2 AGES1001 - Foundation Skills in Ageing Studies
3 Admission into other Bachelor degrees
Must Satisfy: ((1 and 2) or (3))
Assignment(s); Tutorial participation.
Topic description
The ageing of the global population has been well documented and accompanied by recognition of older people as a powerful consumer group, including as consumers of popular culture. Forms of popular culture including music, film, television, visual art and fashion have in turn influenced community attitudes towards ageing. This topic will consider the ‘coming of the aged’ - how marketing about and to the senior population over recent decades has produced wide-ranging representations of older age in Western popular culture. With a particular focus on film and television, and drawing on diverse examples from Pixar’s animation Up to celebrity culture’s preoccupation with ‘agelessness’, students will consider how popular culture offers opportunities to engage with and reflect on health, well-being, gender and other aspects of the complex experience of ageing in the 21st century.
Educational aims
The core objective of this topic is to develop an awareness of how ideas and attitudes about ageing are influenced by depictions of older people and age-related issues, including health concerns, in a range of popular culture forms. The aims of this topic are to:

  • Inform students about the way in which forms of popular culture can be understood as sources of influence in the broader community

  • Enable students to critically engage with and analyse representations of ageing and age-related issues in different popular culture forms

  • Encourage students to reflect on depictions of health and well-being, sexuality, gender and ethnicity in shaping opinion and attitudes in relation to ageing in the public domain.
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic students will be expected to be able to:

  • Distinguish between how the ways in which different forms of popular culture engage with distinct viewer or consumer groups

  • Discuss key themes, narratives and stereotypes associated with older age and ageing in a range of popular culture texts

  • Critically analyse positive and negative depictions of ageing and understand the significance of both in influencing attitudes around ageing in the broader community

  • Appraise examples of popular culture where issues of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race and class have been addressed in association with ageing

  • Explain the specific ways in which health concerns and older age have been associated with narratives of debility and decline or active and ‘successful’ ageing

  • Describe key themes associated with depictions of dementia in film and television and discuss the significance of these in influencing public opinion about the disease and its consequences.