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Age and work: what do you think of this image?

by on March 25, 2013

One of the attendees from our seminar last September has very kindly sent us a link to a e-card she recently received, knowing our research interest in visual images of age and work.

The link to the card is here.

I know what I think about it and I know how I would analyse it as an image about age, work and gender but I’d be really interested to hear the views of others.

Comments please!

  1. Paula Fitzgerald permalink

    I have asked a couple of colleagues at work to share their own comments about the photo, here they are (in addition to my own):

    Colleague 1 (female, aged: 29) “The first thing that came to mind was how cute! That older lady is giving it ago on the computer. The 2nd thing was where was her training? lol ”

    Colleague 2 (male, aged 42) “Lack of understanding=Lack of training. No common sense and no confidence to ask for help.”

    My own thoughts: To me there is a dissonance, the person who originally typed the letter in the PC is unlikely to be the lady holding the ‘tippex’… unless it is a joke.

    If it isn’t a joke, then it looks as if the person who originally typed the letter in the PC has just left his/her desk to do something else…and in the meantime, this lady (either visitor or a guest) took the seat….she appears not to have the faintest idea about the basics of how a PC works, but also I doubt that she has ever been to an office in the past 25 years. On an annecdotal basis, an old and very dear family friend, a 93-year old retired Dr who has a facebook profile, knows very well how to send me emails with attachments, and how to post thoughts and send me emails over facebook! She beats all the stereotypes about older people but…. she really works incredibly hard at it every day.

    Going back to the photo, I noticed the younger looking man sitting nearby and that he appears to ignore the older lady, she appears ‘invisible’ to him. At the same time, she does not appear to want to be noticed, or ask for help?. Furthermore, I notice the electric pencil sharpening machine to the left of the lady….I am running for the first aid kit already!!

  2. Many thanks Paula. And thanks for sharing the image with your colleagues. Great idea.

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