A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä

From double to triple standards of ageing. Perceptions of physical appearance at the intersections of age, gender and class.

Julkaisun tekijät: Erica Åberg, Iida Kukkonen, Outi Sarpila

Kustantaja: Elsevier

Julkaisuvuosi: 2020

Journal: Journal of Aging Studies

Volyymi: 55

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2020.100876

Verkko-osoite: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890406520300463


Since the 1970s, when Susan Sontag
coined the term, discussions on the double standard of ageing has
continued to evolve. Recently, scholars of feminist gerontology have
called for an intersectional approach to address cultural norms of
physical appearance and ageing. In this paper, we aim to investigate
whether men and women internalise ageist norms differently; that is,
double standards of ageing exist. Second, we explore whether
self-identified social class affects the internalisation of these norms.
To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to examine
the double and triple standards of ageing with nationally
representative data (N = 1600).

Drawing from
Bourdieusian capital theory, sociology of the body, consumer culture,
and feminist gerontology, we suggest that the double standard of ageing
exists for women who feel that ageing erodes their appearance, give more
importance to their appearance than men, and fear looking old from an
early age. Further, a ‘triple standard’ is also traced. Our results
indicate that ageing working-class women are less confident about their
appearances than upper-class women. Thus, upper-middle-class women seem
less vulnerable to the negative aspects of ageing than women who have
less social, cultural, and economic capital to enhance their ageing
appearance. The triple standard extends to men as well: appearance is
evaluated as equally important by upper-middle-class middle-aged men as
by women of similar age and social background. Alternatively, our
results could be interpreted as upper-middle-class people experiencing
more restrictive norms regarding ageing; that is, such people are
compelled to seek anti-ageing solutions and are not allowed to surrender
to the natural ageing process.

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Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 08:48