Social constructions of ageing masculinities and their cultural representations


The MASCAGE project explores how images of older men inform cultural constructions and lived realities of ageing in Ireland. The Irish research is part of a cross-national, inter-disciplinary project, analyzing social constructions of ageing masculinities and their cultural representations in contemporary European literature and cinema.


Populations are ageing across European countries and beyond and older people form increasingly larger proportions of the population. Older men are frequent consumers of TV, film, and literature, yet little is known about how they view the ways they are represented. Exploring masculinities in TV, film and literature and listening to men’s perceptions of these narratives, this study investigates the multiple experiences of men’s ageing, which are subject to complex and changing influences, both national and transnational. It aims to provide opportunities for a fuller understanding of the interrelationship between masculinities, men’s behaviours and practices with ageist gendered stereotypes associated with older men, and social issues specifically associated with men’s ageing.


  1. To gain a deeper understanding of contemporary and changing representations of ageing masculinities in and through different media contexts, especially contemporary European literary and visual representations.
  2. To explore older men’s (aged 65+) experiences of, and attitudes to, ageing across different European regions, exploring their commonalities and differences, at both national and transnational levels.
  3. To analyse and understand more fully across European cultures the interrelationship of masculinities, men’s behaviours, and practices with a variety of social issues specifically associated with men’s ageing.
  4. To share the results of this project with other researchers and also practitioners and policymakers so that the outcomes of the study can help them devise strategies to address some of these social problems in terms of national and EU responses on equal opportunities, especially through policies designed to promote greater gender and age equity.

Participant Countries

Estonia, Graz, Ireland, Israel, Spain & Sweden