International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online)

A Pilot Study of Birthday Cards as Vignettes: Methodological Reflections on the Elusive Everyday Ageism
Fredrik Snellman, Stina Johansson, Hildur Kalman

Abstract
This study examines the expressions and experiences of everyday ageism among elderly retired people. Remarkably little attention has previously been paid to how elderly people themselves experience everyday ageism. The phenomenon of everyday ageism is both neglected and demanding to identify and analyse. This pilot study uses focus group interviews and birthday card vignettes in order to encourage informants to speak freely and discuss their experiences of attitudes towards ageing. The results of the pilot study show ancillary perceptions, agreements and silences that are characteristic of everyday ageism, and either directly related to the vignettes or to other everyday experiences. It is emphasised that the phenomenon at hand is multifaceted and complex. Methodological implications are discussed in order to shed light on the uncovering of signifiers and intersecting signifiers of everyday ageism. The study demonstrates a particularly useful approach in researching everyday ageism.

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