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To old in times of youth: a study about the social representations of old age

Grant number: 10/16253-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2010
Effective date (End): October 31, 2011
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Social Psychology
Principal researcher:Patrícia do Socorro Magalhães Franco do Espírito Santo
Grantee:Gabriela Silveira de Paula Ravagnani
Home Institution: Pró-Reitoria Acadêmica. Centro Universitário de Franca (UNI-FACEF). Franca , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Hypermodernity is a stage of society that follows postmodernity. It is a society characterized mainly by hyperconsumption, the primacy of immediatism, fluidity and transitoriness. Fashion reings all over the social body and the youth turn into a value, an aesthetic model to be pursued by people of all ages. This influences choices and behaviors. Hypermodern society consecrates the present and disqualifies the past and the old. It marginalizes those who are unable to keep up the frenetic pace of others. New images of aging are created that regard it as a period of life where postponed projects and the quest of self-fulfilment are taken up again. Taking into consideration that the young are used as models of social imitation, and the elderly - whose number has significantly increased over the last years - are immersed in this social universe, this research aims at investigating the social representations of the younger generation regarding old age and the old, while bearing in mind that the social representations constitute the notion of common sense and serve as the base for the politics, science and behaviors, shaping the collective sciences that generate social realities. For that purpose, qualitative methodology will be employed to produce information generated from semi-structured interviews with 15 to 29-year-old university students. Data will be analysed based on the theoretical reference of the social representations. (AU)

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