Advertising old men: Swedish old men reflect on "seeing themselves”

Karin Lövgren, Linn Sandberg, Jeff Hearn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Adverts tell a story and comprise images that old men encounter in their everyday lives, and which provide popular scripts on ageing masculinity. This chapter focuses on old men’s own understandings of advertising and their depictions of old men. Focus group interviews with Swedish old men, aged between 65 and 92, were conducted, with commercial adverts featuring old men used as visual prompts to invite discussions on masculinity and ageing. The advertising shown reflects both negative and overtly ageist images, and images of the so-called successfully ageing old man; adverts appealing to identification and aspiration, adverts inciting laughter and appreciation, and adverts creating a sense of resistance or rejection. Different readings of the shown adverts emerged, which point to the polysemic nature of media texts. The chapter discusses prominent themes from the transcribed and coded focus group interviews, on embodied ageing, ageing in different stages of life, masculinity and societal changes in terms of gender equality and the role and status of old men.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAgeing and the Media : International Perspectives
EditorsVirpi Ylänne
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherPolicy press
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)978-1-4473-6203-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4473-6206-7, 978-1-4473-6205-0
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameAgeing in a global context


  • 518 Media and communications
  • advertising
  • age
  • older people
  • men
  • advertisements
  • Sweden
  • masculiniites
  • focus groups

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Responsible organising


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