Aging and rejuvenescence: study of social representation

Abstract This study is based on the theory of the social representations to analyze the content of the social representations that three different generations of women have on subjects related to aging and rejuvenescence. Seventy-two women participated on the research: 34 university students from 25 to 35 years old, 18 from 40 to 50 years old, and 20 above 60 years. The method for data collection and analysis was the technique of free association of words. The inductive terms were aging and rejuvenescence. The analysis of the evoked words followed the criteria of frequency and order of evocation. The averages were calculated in both criteria to create the quadrants that would form the contents of the hypothesis of central and peripheral cores of social representation. The main results had shown that around aging there are still crystallized old ideas in images as wisdom and experience. As to rejuvenescence, the women had expressed a favorable attitude to the prevention of aging directed to the improvement of conditions of health in detriment of the aesthetic cares, showing that in the core contents a functional dimension of the social representation in terms of preventive care practices is present. We concluded that, independently of the participants’ age groups, they built a social representation of the rejuvenescence directed toward health care much more than the aesthetic beauty.