This course is offered in two halves, each of which can be taken on its own. This half of the course will use popular cultural media – primarily film but also popular printed materials to draw attention to important current aging-related issues. “Getting old” is associated with many “loss” stereotypes: diminished power, physical attractiveness, independence, productivity – we will use popular cultural media to examine these stereotypes in the context of our cultural paradigms that encourage us to understand aging-related issues only as a person’s individual problems and ignore systems of privilege and difference.
The culturally imposed messages that we absorb implicitly and explicitly from popular media lessen our ability to be effective in our ministries. Bringing them into our awareness helps us counter age-related oppressive belief systems. There will be some reading required beforehand. We will spend our time together reflecting on rhetoric in popular magazines, newspapers, films.