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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Television's Mature Women: A Changing Media Archetype: From Bewitched to the Sopranos


Despite almost a half century of change and growth for women spurred by the Second Wave of the Women’s Movement, older women continue to be depicted on television as caricatures informed by ageist ideologies. A feminist textual analysis of mature women on television reveals a surprisingly consistent media archetype and helps to elucidate the politics of representation of older women. It is only very recently that counter hegemonic portrayals are acting as “filtering devices” (Cohen, 2002, p. 615) for the examinations of the stereotypes of ageism in the media.

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