In recent years, the aging of the population in industrialized countries has become a prominent issue in international forums. This current demographic trend has required modern medicine to focus on the meaning of ‘old age’. At the same time, discourse-based research into aging and the life span has increased, leading to the emergence of areas of interest such as “discursive gerontology”, “sociolinguistic gerontology” (Coupland, Coupland, and Giles 1991), or “lifespan sociolinguistics” (Coupland, Coupland, and Nussbaum 1993). This growing emphasis on discourse and language use seems to be radically re-framing conventional perspectives on age identity, stages of life and the medical and institutional meanings of age. It is recognized that geriatrics is being re-born after having been neglected in the past (Anderson 1991). In addition, certain fundamental arguments – e.g. that old age is not a disease – have been unequivocally accepted (Swift 1991). Old patients are not acutely ill. Modern geriatrics is based on a rich and differentiated modern system of patient assessment and therefore commits itself to an anti-ageist ideology, geared to counteracting an earlier set of clearly ageist assumptions and policies. This paper aims to investigate the linguistic features of old age related issues by examining a selection of geriatric medical editorials. It draws upon some of the recent research on age and aging and explores the implications of discursive representations of age categorization and age identity. Negative themes, for example, convey a vision of old age as frail and decremental involving physical and mental decline and dependency (agist ideology). Positive themes, on the other hand, include a mind-over body attitude, active engagement, self-reliance, and maturity (anti-agist ideology). In view of these two opposite poles, this study examines, in particular, how old age identities are presented in geriatric medical editorials and aims at assessing to what extent a tension between negative and positive old age identities emerge from the analysis.
|Titolo:||Discursive representations of old age in geriatric editorials|
BAIT, MIRIAM (Primo)
|Parole Chiave:||geriatric medical editorials ; old age identities ; agist / anti-agist ideology ; discursive representations|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore L-LIN/12 - Lingua e Traduzione - Lingua Inglese|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2009|
|Tipologia:||Book Part (author)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in volume|