Discourses of Ageing and Gender

The Impact of Public and Private Voices on the Identity of Ageing Women

  • Clare Anderson

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Clare Anderson
    Pages 1-13
  3. Clare Anderson
    Pages 15-60
  4. Clare Anderson
    Pages 61-71
  5. Clare Anderson
    Pages 113-136
  6. Clare Anderson
    Pages 137-187
  7. Clare Anderson
    Pages 189-230
  8. Clare Anderson
    Pages 231-248
  9. Clare Anderson
    Pages 249-256
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 257-275

About this book


This book presents in-depth investigation of the language used about women and ageing in public discourse, and compares this with the language used by women to express their personal, lived experience of ageing. It takes a linguistic approach to identify how messages contained in public discourse influence how individual women evaluate their own ageing, and particularly their ageing appearance. It begins by establishing the wider cultural context that produces prevailing attitudes to women, before turning to an analysis of representations of the ageing female body in beauty and cosmetic advertising and the lifestyle media. The focus then moves to a detailed investigation of women’s own perceptions of the process of ageing and of their ageing appearance as revealed through their personal narratives. The final chapters challenge dominant attitudes to women and ageing by presenting two case studies of women who for different reasons and in different ways refuse to conform to cultural expectations. This work provides a platform for further academic research in the fields of linguistics, gerontology, gender and media studies; as well as offering meaningful applications in the wider domains of business and advertising.

Clare Anderson is Associate Tutor at the University of Birmingham, UK. She also runs a consultancy that specialises in helping individuals, companies and brands to use language to perform more effectively. Her work focuses on women and leadership, and language and diversity.


sociolinguistics gender studies appraisal theory multimodal analysis critical discourse analysis gerontology feminism lifecourse lifestyle media advertising beauty public discourse personal narratives language and identity language ideology consumerism femininity the mirror moment cultural narrative health studies

Authors and affiliations

  • Clare Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of English and Applied LinguisticsUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information