The feminisation of ageing - a myth of dependency in the literature of British civil society : an exploration of how an image may be the site for myth production

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Scully, Gerard
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BA (Hons) Anthropology
Dublin Business School
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This Final Year Project will look at how images of older people can produce a myth about the ageing process. The myth being produced is that older people can be said to occupy the same symbolic space as women which means that they are like women and Children in that they are culturally considered to be more vulnerable and in need of care. This myth is the unintentional result of British organisations deliberately using images of older women to depict older people in general, particularly when the depiction is of an older woman occupying a disempowered role. The theoretical basis for the Final Year Project is the work of Roland Barthes, specifically his essays 'The Rhetoric of the Image' and 'Myth Today'. The Final Year Project will use a single image which is the front cover of a report on the issue of elder abuse in residential homes as a site of myth production but other images will be used to show how this image is a site of myth production.