Date of Degree

6-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor(s)

Victoria Pitts-Taylor

Subject Categories

Women's Studies

Abstract

I argue that the valorization of youth and the subsequent quest for agelessness has caused such an explosion of ageism that the elderly have been relegated to a culturally invisible status. The intersection of age and gender is doubly problematic for women due to sexism and the perennial objectification of the female body. Thinking of visibility as a measure of social acceptability, the consequences of cultural disappearance for the aging woman is an important site for investigation and theorizing. This thesis depicts the erasure of aging women from the cultural landscape as an effect of media representation and self-care work encouraged in neoliberal capitalism, in which aging is positioned as a mutable phenomenon.

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