Nursing home residents and celebrities : a tale of morality
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
International journal of aging and human development. - Farmingdale, N.Y.
, p. 323-349
University of Antwerp
In contemporary Western societies, characterized by global aging and an omnipresent celebrity culture, little is known about the role of celebrities for older adults. This study bridges gerontology and celebrity studies to explore a social role that celebrities can fulfill for nursing home residents: triggering moral discussions. This potential role is examined in four focus groups with 27 nursing home residents in Flanders (Belgium). Here, 20 celebrity pictures are employed to evoke moral discussions, with a focus on adultery and homosexuality. These discussions are subjected to a framing analysis. Results show that celebrities can trigger moral discussions among the nursing home residents. The residents' adultery and homosexuality frames show that they mostly retain dominant values from their youth, often combining them with contemporary dominant values. Further, the residents' frames prove to be relativistic, which can be linked to their multitude of life experiences and complex emotional skills.