Ageism and social media through the lens of the media ideologies: An exploratory research

Period: 2018 – 2019

Source of funding: LUMSA University (Rome, Italy) and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council del Canadà (SSHRC).

Project framework: ACT Project

Team: Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol (IN3-Universitat Oberta de Catalunya), Andrea Rosales (IN3-Universitat Oberta de Catalunya), Francesca Comunello (LUMSA University), Simone Mulargia (Sapienza University of Rome).

Description: This project aims to investigate the generational use of social media and the interaction between age-related stereotypes and the practices of use surrounding digital platforms. Of particular interest are stereotypes –and discriminatory attitudes– towards older people. The departing point is the reflection around digital platform usage practices and the social norms that dictate the “appropriate ways” of using them. We integrate two perspectives. (1) The reflection on age-related stereotypes that become evident when (old and young) people talk about the practices and norms around digital platforms. (2) The interest in media ideologies and ‘idioms of practice’ (Gershon 2010), concepts that help understand how users perceive affordances and constraints (Norman 2013) of digital platforms.

Methodology: Four focus groups in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) and Rome (Italy) each until saturation is reached. We select the participant based on a reasoned choice logic. Two focus groups will be comprised by younger people and the two other by older people.