“We’ve got to get rid of her”: representation of older adults on the preschool television show Grandpa in My Pocket

Galit Rovner-Lev, Nelly Elias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Studies of television programs and films targeting children at elementary school age systematically reveal a vast spectrum of sexist and ageist stereotypes regarding older women and men, presenting children with distorted sociocultural perceptions that perpetuate the social marginalization and devaluation of older adults. Little is known, however, regarding prevailing stereotypes associated with older women and men in television programs targeting younger children, especially preschoolers. To fill this gap, the present study examined the salient gendered and ageist stereotypes embedded in the storylines of the well known Cbeebies television show “Grandpa in My Pocket”. By applying qualitative content analysis to 28 episodes of the show’s five seasons, we aimed at answering the following questions: What images of older men and women does this show convey to young children; and what models of social interaction the older adults maintain with other characters. Our findings show that this program actually misses its opportunity to present preschoolers with more positive images of older adults, and especially of older women, who are pictured as weird, bizarre, mean, socially isolated and devaluated. Moreover, the older women are systematically subjected to various forms of “comic violence”, including humiliation, intimidation and physical harm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-220
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Children and Media
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2020


  • Cbeebies
  • Older adults
  • age representation
  • content analysis
  • educational programs
  • gender stereotypes
  • preschool television programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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