HFMK03316U FM, Module 2, Media, Genre and Aesthetics: Ageing in media

Volume 2018/2019

Master in Film and Media Studies, 2016-curriculum + 2013-curriculum


Media is co-constitutive of the ‘new ageing’ carried forward by the Post War cohorts and consumer society. In the media saturated society, ageing has transformed into a ’cultural field’ of images and practices. By drawing on the field of cultural gerontology, this course focuses on the role of media in the cultural constitution of contemporary ageing.

During the past three decades, the life course of older individuals has been shaped by the steady introduction of genres for mass, social and personal communication. The experience of the emergence of the ‘media society’ is particular to older cohorts. Concepts of ’healthy’, ‘successful’ and ’active’ ageing circulate across a variety of genres: policy documents, e-health, m-health, magazines, life style programs, and documentaries. In commercials and life style magazines, anti-ageing strategies, sexuality, and gender is embodied in the representations of people in later life. Ageism is visible in broadly circulated notions such as ’grey tsunami’ or ’digital immigrant’, in the emphasis on youth in the fashion industry, or in the absence of representations of older characters in film and television. At the same time, anti-ageist media representations seem to be gaining ground. The presence of the later life experience in audio-visual fiction is helped along by for example the new political economy of high-end television series. In advertising the strategies of targeting the older consumer involve the introduction of the older model and ageing female face. Charged with meaning, the ageing body challenges the aesthetics of media across genres.


By conceiving of contemporary media culture as composed by, on one hand, the materiality of devices and infrastructures and, on the other hand, producers and users sense-making vis-a-vis technology, form, and style we will explore ageing in media. In the seminars we will analyse a variety of genres and aesthetics – for the exam, students are encouraged to apply a set of chosen methods and a relevant theoretical framework to a particular case of their own choice. The seminars will combine lectures, student presentations, exercises and exam workshops.





Learning Outcome

Master in Film and Media Studies 2016-curriculum:
Module 2: Media, Genre and Aesthetics: HFMK03311E


  • Category
  • Hours
  • Course Preparation
  • 353,5
  • Seminar
  • 56
  • Total
  • 409,5
Type of assessment
The exam will be conducted in English or Danish
Criteria for exam assesment