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Cultural narratives and representations in Swedish law and media regarding age discrimination, paper presentation at: Performances, Processes and Representations of Age and Ageing Joint Workshop: AgeCap & Aging Graz Research Group, Graz, October 17-19, 2018

Conference contribution
Authors Eva-Maria Svensson
Maria Edström
Published in Performances, Processes and Representations of Age and Ageing Joint Workshop: AgeCap & Aging Graz Research Group, Graz, October 17-19, 2018
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Department of Law
Centre for Ageing and Health (Agecap)
Language en
Keywords ageing, discrimination, representation of age, law, media
Subject categories Media and Communications, Law and Society


The paper is a further elaboration from a paper presented at the 3rd ENAS Conference, 1st Joint ENAS & NANAS Conference, 9th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology; Cultural Narratives, Processes and Strategies in Representations of Age and Aging at the University of Graz, Austria, April 27-30, 2017. It explores narratives on ageing in age discrimination court cases. Sweden is a welfare state, considered good place to grow old, ranked No 3 in Global Agewatch Index 2015. However, Sweden was one of the last countries in EU to adopt legislation against age discrimination. Age has been a ground for discrimination since 2009, and so far very few cases have been brought to action. These cases, together with the media coverage of the cases, and the newspaper reporting on the role of the Discrimination Ombudsman (DO), are the empirical material. The research questions are: - What narratives of age and employment become visible in the texts? - What other factors interacts with age, such as gender, profession and ethnicity? - How does these representations relate to the ongoing challenge to society labour availability for older people and the use/misuse of their human capital and competences? The approach is interdisciplinary and takes its starting point in the capability concept used in the transdisciplinary research platform Centre for Ageing and Health, AgeCap, at the University of Gothenburg. Capability can refer to the individual’s ability to perform actions in order to reach goals he or she has reason to value. Here, in this paper. Focus is on factors on a macro level; application of laws that affect working older people and representations of media of these issues. Together they form narratives of ageing and ageism (i.e. the relation between perceptions of age and discriminatory practices).

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