Associate Professor Maria Edström
Rich in years: How research & civil society might challenge ageism
Changing mindsets about ageing and capability demands both action and patience, as ageism permeates the media and society. Consequently, researchers in this space need to be inventive in the way they apply their knowledge and skills. For example, presenting research evidence highlighting that everyone, regardless of age, has the right to live a life they have reason to value, can mobilise movements aimed at countering prevailing negative stereotypes about ageing.
As a researcher and Steering Committee member of the University of Gothenburg’s multidisciplinary AgeCap, Centre for Ageing and Health, Maria Edström has explored diverse issues related to the media and ageing, including ageism in the media industry and gendered ageism. Researching these topics reveals how media and society are linked, and how ageism might be countered; both in general, and in a welfare state such as Sweden. Insights gleaned from the Årsrika/Rich in years traveling exhibition (2017-2022) of photographs and life stories of people aged 78 to 95 years, with varied backgrounds and experiences, are shared to illustrate the benefits that flow from cross-sector research collaborations.