Call for papers: Becoming Old in the Age of Mediatization

Becoming Old in the Age of Mediatization



This special issue of Nordicom Review examines media dynamics in the lives of the elderly and the influence of these dynamics on perceptions of old age.
This issue aims for a deeper understanding of where and how media have specific consequences for the later parts of the life cycle as well as how old age/ageing is affected and shaped by processes of mediatization.

Mediatization research has thus far focused on issues such as parenthood and children’s play, while other studies of media dynamics relate to various aspects of work life and public life, such as politics, religion, sports, and conflict. But how do media influence our oldest generations, and how do media change former conceptions of what it means to be old?

We encourage an interdisciplinary approach, coupling media studies with cultural or sociological perspectives, including gerontology and other relevant theoretical fields. We seek papers that consider specific cases or empirical data and analyze these in their relevant sociocultural contexts. The interplay between media and old age is spelled out differently in different parts of the world, and we thus also invite contributions from a wide range of social and cultural contexts. Furthermore, we welcome more theoretical contributions, which set forth perspectives on mediatization for the elderly as well as papers from historical perspectives.

Becoming old in the age of mediatization

Within this overall theme, we invite contributions considering how the lives of the elderly are changing with the increasing presence and authority of media and digital technologies in both their private daily lives and in their communications with a range of societal institutions. How, for instance, do media affect elderly people’s relationships with their families and friends, and how do media influence their relationships with authorities, enable political engagement, or impact leisure time activities? Has the spread of new media changed the conditions for being old?  How are old age and ageing represented in media texts, platforms, and genres, and how do such representations contribute to shaping and to changing cultural and social understandings of ageing?


Topics may include but are not limited to:

  •  media and media technologies related to elder care, retirement homes, etc.
  •  popular culture and media representations of the elderly
  •  lifestyle media and fashion for the elderly
  • physical health and connected media technologies
  • the digitization of the public sphere, e.g. communication with public services, online banking
  •  digital technologies, games, apps, etc. directed at elderly users
  • elderly people’s media use in daily life
  • production of TV and radio programmes directed at elderly audiences
  • generational aspects of media use
  • historical approaches to elderly people’s media use

The Editors

Special issue editors: Christa Lykke Christensen(link is external), PhD, Associate Professor at University of Copenhagen and Line Nybro Petersen(link is external), PhD, Assistant Professor at University of Southern Denmark.

Key dates

All full papers will undergo double-blind peer review, and acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee publication.