“Just When You Thought You Were Too Old for Romance” Sociology Help

“Just When You Thought You Were Too Old for Romance”

People think when you get to a certain age, there’s no more sex. That ain’t true. -‘Harry’ (played by Joseph Bologna) makes this statement in the film Boston Beach Club, and moviegoers over over the age of fifty often cheer loudly in’ their local Australopithecus are tired seeing older older people being portrayed as sexless beings.

Films that involve romance between older individuals, such as Boynton Beach Club, Something’s GoTTa Give, and Calendar Girls. have become more popular with film makers and movie audiences In recent years. These movies have come  in the  aftermath of a drought of many years Ir.which older actors found it increasingly difficult to find mature roles in films. If they did  and a part, the characters they portrayed  typically were chronically III or dying-although that genre of films has not   disappeared, as evidenced by movies such as Aurora Borealis, in which the actor Donald Sutherland plays the role of a suicidal  parkinson’s disease patient. By Contrast, however, Boynton Beach Club is about five people living in an adult community in Florida ho want to get back into the dating game and to have ongoIng adventures in their lives.Although the characters meet at a local  bereavement group, they soon begin to enjoy a new era of their lives as they interact with new people and  rediscover an interest  n   heir own sexuality. For the Baby Boomer generation, films such as this show that what it means to be older has changed   ramatically, and this is also an Important message for younger film audiences. According to some analysts, films such as Boynron  Beach Club reflect a shift in the attitudes of producers, directors, and Hollywc.od financial backers as they begin to realize that   lder moviegoers (who constitute a lucrative market for films and DVDs)are not going to pay money to  watch plots that revolve  ntirely around adolescents and  young people As Susan Seidelman, the writer-director of boynton Beach Club, stated, ‘There are a   ot of people over 40 and 50 who would go to the movies, but they want to  see a movie that reflects their experiences as an older  erson, That’s a tough sell for your average Hollywood movie  executive, a fetus in a suit’ (qtd.in Newcott, 2007). Even if this   .moment i$an overstatement, it highlights the point that the manner in which the media frame stories and articles  about older  people Is important in our society

For many years, older Individuals have either been stereotyped or ignored by the mainstream media, which have been accused of  resenting distorted images of the elderly (see Dell off, 1987) or of’geezer bashing’ (see Hess, 1991). Even today, some media   ports on Social Security, Medicare, .and other issues concerning older Americans  are framed in such a way that older people  appear to be pitted against younger people In a battle over money and other scarce resources. When news reports suggest that the   money spent for programs folder Individuals is money that is taken away from affordable housing, better  schools, fighting  infant  mortality, and Investing in the  future, this zero-sum-game framing (‘if you win, I lose”) unnecessarily pits older people against out. However, this type of framing does not show the big picture of how  other activities (such as military spending and war)  might be an even greater drain on such domestic spending programs  (Hess, 1991). Perhaps it is important for books and movies to   ell us stories about the feelings of older individuals and to show their daily struggle for love, hope, and dignity in a world  that  fen  ewes not respect the contributions of the elderly.  Because the process of aging has been considered boring or downright  pressing   y many media analysts, older people have been neglected in much media coverage.  However,we need to know more about the  aging process,  particularly its emotional components. We also need to see how older people conduct their lives, review their past   experiences, and deal with the aging process because each of us may live to see the day when older people are us, not’them-the  other or the ‘outsider’-In what is likely  to remain a youth-oriented nation.

Reflect & Analyze

Have you seen films or watched television programs that that are a good example of how stories about older people might be framed?  ave you also seen “geezer bashing”? For example, what about the portrayal of older people in some comedies and late-night  television shows? What effect does media framing of aging have on your opinions of the elderly?

Posted on September 6, 2014 in Aging and inequality based on age

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