Under pressure : Women's Health and the social constructions of aging / Brittany Thompson

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Thompson, Brittany
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Kinesiology, c2011
This thesis project explores social constructions of aging women within Women’s Health magazine. There is limited scholarly literature on representations of aging women within popular health/fitness media, such as magazines. The limited current research which does exist suggests that aging women are subjected to negative stereotypes and gendered myths within our societal and cultural values with respect to aging (Vertinsky, 1994). Media representations are strong and pervasive reflections of societal norms and expectations and may impact the way women view themselves. I therefore undertook a Foucaultian discourse analysis of Women’s Health magazine to examine if/how gendered constructions of aging are functioning within representations of health directed to women of all ages. I found that Women’s Health reproduces aging women as useless, failures, problems to be managed, and other to normative femininity. Women’s Health reinforces that aging can and should be managed through the consumption of anti-aging products, procedures, and surgeries endorsed within the magazine.
v, 125 leaves ; 29 cm
Ageism , Aging -- Social aspects , Women in mass media , Middle-aged women -- Public opinion , Older women -- Public opinion , Middle-aged women -- Attitudes , Older women -- Attitudes , Dissertations, Academic