Representations of middle age in comedy film: a critical discourse analysis

Gatling, Margaret, Mills, Jane, and Lindsay, David (2014) Representations of middle age in comedy film: a critical discourse analysis. The Qualitative Report, 19 (12). 1.

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Abstract

The discourse of middle age includes a commonly-held perception that it is a time of crisis resulting in unusual, atypical, dramatic or extravagant behaviours. The aim of this study was to find out if the discourse of middle age, as depicted in comedy film, supports this stereotype. Three comedy films were reviewed using dispositive analysis to critically-evaluate the actions, objects and language employed to represent middle age on-screen. The findings show that crisis, sparked by a fear of ageing and with some distinct gender differences, is a frequent feature of on-screen middle age. Building on the generally accepted hypothesis that negative stereotyping results in the development of prejudices, the findings suggest that negative representations of ageing start well before old age and therefore contribute to the process whereby film audiences are inculcated with material which engenders ageist views and behaviours.

Item ID: 55776
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2160-3715
Keywords: middle age, mid-life crisis, comedy film, dispositive analysis, critical discourse analysis
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Copyright Information: Copyright 2014: Margaret Gatling, Jane Mills, David Lindsay, and Nova Southeastern University. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2018 01:14
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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