Media representation of older people's vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic in China.

Show simple item record Zhang, Jingjing Liu, Xiaoting
dc.coverage.spatial Germany 2021-05-10T23:52:19Z 2021-05-10T23:52:19Z 2021-3-18
dc.identifier.citation European journal of ageing 1-10 18 Mar 2021
dc.identifier.issn 1613-9372
dc.description.abstract Older adults have gained great media attention during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they were believed to be vulnerable to the novel virus based on clinical data and epidemiological evidence. The high volume of media coverage played an important role in calling for improved public health services for the older population. Nevertheless, problematic media representations of older people might evoke or amplify ageism during the pandemic. Therefore, drawing on empirical data collected from five mainstream Chinese media outlets between January 3 and May 3, 2020, this study examined how the media constructed the vulnerability of older adults and its underlying ageist thinking during the pandemic. The findings showed that the media had clear preferences in constructing older people as passive recipients while seeking resources from families, public institutions and governments at various levels to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the media adopted a biomedical-centred framework presenting older people as a homogenous group that was vulnerable to the pandemic. In addition, we found that the media representations of older adults intensified the dichotomised relationship between the young and the old, causing the younger generations to perceive older people as a 'threat' to public health. Moving beyond the Chinese case, this article appeals to the media to be socially responsible by avoiding the stereotyping of the older population and uniting the whole society to combat COVID-19. The findings of this study will help raise awareness among policymakers and care service providers, which is crucial to eliminating ageist attitudes across society and to further allowing the values of older individuals to be fully recognised.
dc.language eng
dc.publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
dc.relation.ispartofseries Eur J Ageing
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
dc.subject Ageism
dc.subject COVID-19
dc.subject China
dc.subject Media representation
dc.subject Older people
dc.subject Vulnerability
dc.subject 1117 Public Health and Health Services
dc.subject 1701 Psychology
dc.title Media representation of older people's vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic in China.
dc.type Journal Article
dc.identifier.doi 10.1007/s10433-021-00613-x
pubs.begin-page 1 2021-04-27T00:16:40Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The authors en
pubs.end-page 10
pubs.publication-status Published online
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.subtype Journal Article
pubs.elements-id 850615
dc.identifier.eissn 1613-9380
dc.identifier.pii 613 2021-3-18

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