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Title: Portraying older age in television advertisements : a comparative study between the UK and Taiwan
Author: Chen, Chin-Hui
ISNI:       0000 0004 2751 1185
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis is a cross-cultural comparative study on media representations of older people in UK and Taiwanese TV advertisements. Three analytical approaches (content analysis, the constant comparative method and critical discourse analysis) were employed. The content analytical study in this thesis revealed that older people were still under-represented as suggested in existing literature. Role salience and visibility of older characters were greater in Taiwanese TV advertisements than in UK TV advertisements. Taiwanese older characters were more likely associated with family relationships and indoor/home contexts while UK older characters were more frequently depicted at outdoor and entertainment settings. Nine character types emerged in the constant comparative study to describe media representations of older people in UK and Taiwanese TV advertisements. They are "Competent", "Conservative/Traditional", "Engaged in Female-Male Relations", "Golden Ager", "Humorous", "Unwell and Declining Health", "Incompetent", "Engaged in Intergenerational Relations", and "Vulnerable". Results of the cross-cultural comparisons indicated that the Confucian tradition of filial piety was a defining factor that distinguished the portrayals of older adults in Taiwanese TV adverts from those in the UK TV adverts. The critical discourse analysis in this thesis focused on UK and Taiwanese TV adverts for over 50s life insurance products. It was found that a positive construction of ageing was commonly linked to consumer choices so as to legitimate the advertised products (targeting older people) in the two cultural contexts. However, the positive ageing was arguably offset by ageist ideological presuppositions behind the product messages which conventionally highlighted low cost, eligibility, medical exemption and free gifts both in the UK and Taiwanese data.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available