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Thursday September 19th 2019, 6 PM

Loneliness among older people in the Swedish news-press – between an “epidemic” and individual emotions.

Axel Ågren is a PhD student at Linköping University, currently studying policies on palliative care. In 2018 my licentiate thesis on Loneliness among older people in the Swedish media was published.
Loneliness is today a frequently discussed matter in the media. The issue attracts attention, evokes emotions and leads to debates on who is viewed responsible for causing and reducing loneliness. Meanwhile, how loneliness is understood and experienced is largely dependent on society, culture and language use. In current discussions, a medical perspective dominates where loneliness is described as “deadly” and an epidemic associated with costs for the individual and society. Furthermore, the societal stereotypes of old people as more lonely than other age-groups are persistent over time, despite no evidence of this in research. In this talk I will address what role media portrayals plays regarding experiences of loneliness in later life and how older people are perceived and treated by the surrounding society.

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