Social Construction of Aging and Ageism

Social Construction of Aging and Ageism

Social Construction of Aging and Ageism

Course Project Assignment Sheet


Interpret the role of age in a social phenomenon or literary or cultural text.

Locate information of interest to an academic audience on issues and themes relevant to the study of aging and ageism.

Compose an original project for an academic audience of professor and peers that communicates your research findings and makes connections to course concepts.

For your final course project you are going to choose a topic suggested by our coursework to research in greater detail and present to an audience of your professor and peers in the form of an original project of your own design.


20 pts., Due by  2/18, Project Proposal:  Your first step for this project will be to brainstorm ideas for general topics for your course project based on what we’re learning in class and what interests you.  Add a comment on this document; in your comment, make a list of topics that have come up in our coursework so far or are upcoming on the course schedule that you would be interested in exploring in greater depth.  

After exploring ideas, create a document of your own titled “Course Project Proposal.”  Choose a specific, narrow topic and ask an overall question about your topic. Label this MAIN RESEARCH QUESTION  Now consider what do you want and to find out about this topic so that you can offer an informed answer to your overall research question?  Make a list called INFORMATION RESEARCH QUESTIONS. The more specific your questions are, the easier your topic will be to research. This is the part of the project to explore a lot of different ideas that interest you.  Finally, write a paragraph proposing what you hope to research and why this is a meaningful, significant topic. Submit your project proposal file on Canvas by the due date and be sure to include your overall topic question, your list of information research questions, and your paragraph proposing your project.

10 pts., Due by 3/11, Course Project Conference: The next step in your project is to conference with your instructor to discuss your ideas and plans for your project.  Schedule a phone, email, or online conference session using the link on Canvas by 2/25. Conferences will be held 2/26-3/11.

50 points, Due by 4/15, Course Project Research and Plan:  Once you have formulated your research questions, you will need to research your topic using the college library (NOT JUST GOOGLE!!!).  You will need to find, read, and take notes on at least six scholarly sources related to your topic and create an annotated MLA Works Cited with these research notes for your sources.  Then you will write a plan for what you want to communicate to your audience and how you will go about it in the final product for your project. View full instructions here.

60 points, Due by 5/6, Course Project:  You will decide what form your final product for the course project takes; it can be a more traditional project such as a research paper or a more creative project such as a video, artwork or piece of creative writing, or poster presentation.  Just keep in mind that the purpose of your project is to learn more about a topic suggested by our coursework and communicate what you learn to an academic audience of your professor and peers. You don’t necessarily need to include your research directly in your final project, but your project should be informed by your research, and you will need to be able to explain how.   Don’t be afraid to be creative and think outside the box!

22 points (12 discussion points and 10 points for the reflection), Due by 5/12, Project Discussion and Reflection: You will submit your project and view and discuss your classmates’ projects.  If you choose to create a physical product of some sort (such as a poster), you will need to get that to me somehow so that it can be shared with the class, such as by mailing or bringing it to campus or taking clear, high quality photos of what you’ve created so that it can be shared with the class.  Lastly, you will write a short project reflection.

Project Grading Criteria

Failing Needs Work Competent Advanced

Research No research and/or annotations completed or research does not meet the minimum source requirements.  Sources are not scholarly and/or other research requirements are not met. Researches a question related to aging, but it may be vague, or unoriginal.  Locates and annotates sources, but they are not the best sources for the assignment and/or annotations are not detailed and analytical.  Meets most of the source requirements. Researches a sufficiently narrowed, on-topic, and meaningful questions related to aging.  Locates and annotates scholarly sources that may help to answer the research question. Meets minimum source requirements. Researches interesting, meaningful questions related to aging.  Locates and fully and thoughtfully annotates scholarly sources that help to answer the research question.  Meets and may exceed minimum source requirements.

Connections to Course Concepts No connections to course concepts or research. Few connections to course concepts. Some connections to course concepts, but connections need to be more fully developed and complex. Makes clear, critical connections to course concepts and ideas from research.

Originality and Critical Thinking Final project product is missing, off-topic, does not meet minimum requirements, or does not demonstrate an adequate level of critical thinking and insight. Composes a final project on a topic related to aging, but project is not particularly original, engaging, or informative.  More development and critical thinking about the topic is needed. Composes an informative final project that explores the role of aging and demonstrates critical thinking. Composes an engaging, informative, and sophisticated final project that presents original insights analyzing the role of aging and demonstrates a high level of critical thinking.

Grammar, Style, and Citation Too many grammatical and stylistic errors for college-level writing.  Errors make project hard to understand. Annotated Works Cited is incorrect, incomplete, or missing.

Project seems unfinished. Contains frequent grammatical errors and isn’t always clear or appropriate for the form. Many formatting and citation errors. Annotated Works Cited is included in the Project Plan.  Needs revision and editing. Contains some grammatical errors, is written clearly and appropriately for the form, and formatting and citation are mostly correct. Annotated Works Cited is included in the Project Plan and though there may be some errors. Contains few if any grammatical errors, is written is an engaging, sophisticated style appropriate for the form, and all formatting and citation is correct. Annotated Works Cited is included in the Project Plan and is correct.

Is age just a number?

Why 65 is considered late adulthood?

How is “Old a different animal?”

Why are  

Why are celebrities seen as ageless?

How does media influence our idea on age?

Why is language used as a weapon in ageism?

How does poverty and class affect the way we age?

Do concepts like Cougars and MILFs (pardon the crassness) show an evolution in thinking about women, aging, and sexuality?

How have companies and marketers capitalized on the purchase power of late adults? Do these companies contribute to or combat ageism and negative stereotypes?

I’m interested in the effects of ageist stereotypes on aging individuals. Do these stereotypes have a direct effect on people’s cognition, memory, and health? Does personal personal perception of ageist stereotypes cause a measurable decline?

Why is it so important for us to look younger than we really are?k

Why do we need to look older when

How does the media and pharmaceutical companies reiterate and benefit from ageist stereotypes?

Do older black men get treated worse for trivial crimes than teenage white men who do school shootings?

How are aging women depicted in movies and television? Is this depiction positive or negative? Does this depiction influence societal bias and reinforce stereotypes against aging women? Does this depiction influence influence the self-idealization of the aging women themselves?