Images of old age in the Hong Kong print media

Heather Gibb, Eleanor Holroyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The present study set out to identify how the experience of being old in Hong Kong is represented through images commonly recurring in the print media. A case is presented for how the media not only reflect social images and views on ageing, but actively participate in the social construction of views about being old. Two newspapers in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post (English medium) and the Sin Tao (Chinese medium), were surveyed and contents of stories depicting old age were analyzed, using a qualitative and quantitative methodological design. Dominant amongst the themes was vulnerability in old age. Newspapers used stories according to journalistic formulae to present both negative and positive depictions of old age; however, positive stories carried a sense of the exceptional rather than ordinary life. Results were analysed through a comparison between the two Hong Kong newspapers as well as a comparison with a similar study undertaken on the Australian print media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-175
Number of pages25
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Experience of old age
  • Media
  • Social construction of images
  • Stereotyped views


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