Abstract: Up to 76 million people in the U.S. are approaching retirement. Around the world, populations are aging. This talk explores the contradictory terrain of aging in American media, where negative stereotypes of older people are colliding with Aspirational Aging, a media-crafted zeitgeist whose central tenet is that aging is something we can and should ‘defy’. The defiance discourse is especially advanced by what Professor Susan J Douglas labels the Anti-Aging Industrial Complex. The talk will also note the intersections between ageism and sexism, and emphasise how neoliberal discourses about personal responsibility frame and mark off good, successful aging from bad, failed aging.
Speaker: Susan Douglas is the Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor of Communication Studies at The University of Michigan and former Chair of the Department. She is author of The Rise of Enlightened Sexism: How Pop Culture Took Us From Girl Power to Girls Gone Wild (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2010); The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How it Undermines Women (with Meredith Michaels, The Free Press, 2004); Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination (Times Books, 1999), which won the Hacker Prize in 2000 for the best popular book about technology and culture, Where The Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media (Times Books, 1994) and Inventing American Broadcasting, 1899-1922 (Johns Hopkins, 1987). Where the Girls Are was widely praised, and chosen one of the top ten books of 1994 by National Public Radio, Entertainment Weekly and The McLaughlin Group. She served on the Board of the George Foster Peabody awards from 2005-2010, and in 2010 was selected as Chair of the Board. She is the 2009 recipient of the Leonardo Da Vinci Prize, the highest honor given by the Society for the History of Technology to an individual who has greatly contributed to the history of technology through research, teaching, publications, and other activities.
16 October 2017
4:15 PM – 5:15 PM
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
National University of Singapore
Blk AS6, #03-38