Recently several magazines aimed at women in middle age have been launched on the Swedish market. These magazines have age as a selling point. How is age and ageing represented in these magazines?
There has previously been a reluctance to address the so called older consumer who has been deemed uninteresting from a market perspective. But as of lately the interest for the older consumer has increased. The older consumers are said to own 80 percent of the fortune and have 70 percent of the spending power. How is this ambivalence handled as regards selling magazines to older consumers?
The thesis has three empirical vantage points. One is interviews with people working in marketing and advertising and with persons working with popular press. Further the content of the magazines is analysed, both the editorial material and the adverts, including text and visual material. The third empirical input is interviews with women in mid life on their views on age, ageing, popular press and advertising. The aim is to elucidate how age is given meaning; what cultural notions of age and ageing are expressed in the three empirical materials. The theoretical perspective is social constructionism. The thesis shows how age is done by establishing differences and similarities. Several paradoxes and ambivalences lay at the core of the way in which age and ageing is negotiated and constructed in this material.
Karin Lövgren has been active as an ethnologist for several years. She got her Ph.d at Linköping university, Sweden, in 2009.