Det moderna åldrandet: Pensionärsorganisationernas bilder av åldrandet 1941-1995

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The aim of the dissertation is to describe images of old age in the magazines of Sweden’s two largest pensioner organizations, and explain the character of those images in relation to the temporal contexts of the organizations and their aim to act as the representatives of pensioners. The study is based on the 329 and 330 magazines (1941–1995) that the organizations have submitted to attract members and spread political messages. As an analytical tool, interpretive frames are used to highlight and compare the organizations’ characteristic ways of describing old people and their position in society. These frames have constituted coherent perspectives that has made it possible for the two organizations to reach different conclusions on how to act in the best interest of old people. The characteristics of the three periods – the poverty period, the welfare-state period and the re-evaluation period – are used to put interpretive frames and old-age images into a context of conditions, reflecting development and change in the society surrounding the organizations. It is concluded that the interpretive frames of the organizations have been linked to competing ideological beliefs about the development of society, as well as scientific discourses on health and aging.

As a common trait, the organizations have produced and used two problem-oriented discourses. A discourse of risk-resource has juxtaposed images of old age by focusing on risks of old people becoming burdens to society, in opposition to the possibilities of their contributions as resources. A discourse of victim-resistance has highlighted victimization and injustices, which the organizations and old people themselves have provided resistance against. In the final analysis, the organizations are understood as social movements that have to produce images of risk and injustice in order to mobilize members for collective action and make claims for social change. Without a problem-oriented perspective the ability to create a shared identity of old people would be obstructed, and the organizations’ legitimacy as representatives of old people could be questioned.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • School of Social Work
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2001 Apr 1
ISBN (Print)91-89604-01-6
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Defence details
Date: 2001-04-01
Time: 10:15
Place: Carolinasalen, Kungshuset, Lund
External reviewer(s)
Name: Daatland, Svein Olav
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: [unknown]

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Work

Free keywords

  • theory of social work
  • Social changes
  • Social Policy
  • Social Movements
  • Interest Groups
  • Social Attitudes
  • Ageism
  • Pensioners
  • Aging
  • Elderly
  • Sociology

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