Growing up and growing old with television: peripheral viewers and the centrality of care

Holdsworth, A. and Lury, K. (2016) Growing up and growing old with television: peripheral viewers and the centrality of care. Screen, 57(2), pp. 184-196. (doi: 10.1093/screen/hjw019)

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This essay draws on feminist work on the ethics of care to both (re)establish an alliance between the very young and the very old and to begin to challenge the normative models of subjectivity and spectatorship that circulate within film and television studies. Through textual experiences of time and space and the operations of care, we emphasize the reciprocity and interdependence between generations. This recognition, we argue, offers a new mode of engagement with the challenges of ‘growing up’ and ‘growing old’ on and with television. In our alignment of older and younger audiences we challenge the normative chain of associations where ageing is represented as growth, and growth is associated with development. For the child, this model appears unproblematic even inevitable: ageing = growth = development. In contrast, ageing for older individuals is associated not with growth and development but with decline. A positive alignment between childhood and old age may offer an understanding of this motion (between the status, capacity and experience of child and older adult) as continuous, as an oscillation that is often made evident in the interdependence between child and adult. This, we believe, is mirrored in certain textual and experiential characteristics of television, and we explore it through close textual analysis of children’s programmes Katie Morag, Old Jack’s Boat and Mr Alzheimer’s and Me. These are programmes that not only offer representations of caring intergenerational relationships (of grandchild and grandparent) but express, in their seaside locations, an ebb and flow that is mapped onto experiences of both television and of intergenerational care.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lury, Professor Karen and Holdsworth, Dr Amy
Authors: Holdsworth, A., and Lury, K.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Screen
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1460-2474
Published Online:13 June 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Oxford University Press
First Published:First published in Screen 57(2):184-196
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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