Ar senatvė yra stigma? Senėjimo tapatumas Lietuvoje

English title: Is old age stigma? Ageing identity in Lithuania

Author(s): Gražina Rapolienė -

Language: Lithuanian

Type: Thesis / dissertation

Year: 2012


While population ageing is attracting ever more attention of international scientific community and social policy, its cultural and communicative aspects remain underinvestigated. The goal of the dissertation is to investigate the old age (ageing) identity in Lithuania, applying the sociological concept of stigma. In the pursuit of this goal, the research areas of stigma and ageism are connected, highlighting their common denominator - discrimination. The following questions are raised: whether/to what extent old age is stigma in contemporary Lithuania? When and why old age did become stigma? What are manifestations of the old age stigma? How is it reproduced? Searching for answers the historical changes of attitudes towards ageing are reviewed, dominant theories of ageing identity are examined and the concepts of A.Gidden‘s reflexive self and E.Goffman‘s stigma are applied. Scientifically new theses presented for defense are grounded in the findings of three empirical investigations: media texts analysis, interviews with older people and data analysis of the European Social Survey Round 4. The results lead to conclusion that old age in Lithuania is an „open secret" type stigma: verbally favourable view of older people conceals discrimination. The constructed and internalized stigma is detected both in media and in everyday interactions. The level of discrimination experienced by Lithuanian population over 60 is close to other post-communist and Mediterranean countries.


Awarding institution: Vilnius University

Number of pages: 427

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