29 Aug 2022


The Purpose of Greeting Cards

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

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Greeting cards are traditional tokens that deliberately communicate stereotypes concerning the aging process. Research studies have indicated that messages in greeting cards sold in retail shops contain textual messages that represent aging in a negative way. Stereotypes are negative or positive beliefs based on the membership of an individual in a particular group. The senior citizens are regularly subjected to stereotype. It is evident that aging is a natural process; nevertheless, it is regarded as a social problem in the present-day world. Most culture’s veneration is great as it nurtures an ageist stereotype of the seniors that makes it hard to appreciate them as they are truly are. 


Greeting cards textual messages represent the aging in a negative way. Attitudes concerning aging as reflected in the greeting cards are stereotypic. 

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Objectives of the Study 

Investigate the attitudes about aging as reflected in the greeting cards 

Analysis of greeting cards that describe some aspect of intended recipient of the card 

Influence of greeting cards on aging and seniors 


The research study used a sample at least ten greeting cards most of them being birthday cards meant for recipients of age 60 years and above. A sample of one of them read “All diseases run into one, old age.” 


A qualitative research study was conducted to determine if the textual messages in greeting cards imply that cards are produced for the senior adults of age 60 years and above. Further, the research carried out aimed at investigating whether the messages depicted negative or positive perceptions about the old adults. This approach allowed the research to obtain a sound comprehension of the messages that are communicated to the older adults through birthday cards. The convenience sample for this research study included ten greeting cards. The cards were mainly for the recipients whose ages were 60 years and above. The sampled cards were collected from retail shops selling greeting cards, supermarkets, and small specialty stores. 

Upon purchase of the cards, the researcher transliterated the texts of the cards to words on a different piece of paper. The research data analysis employed grounded theory methods to determine the findings of the aging stereotyping. The researcher finally wrote messages of every single greeting card while coding it separately. 


There are numerous themes established in the text of age precisely birthday cards for individuals of age 60 years and above. The topic of negative stereotype is evident in these cards. They include texts about hearing loss, old bodies, memory loss, and older adults’ discussions concerning dull subjects, increased need for treatment, and decreased physical capabilities. These negative stereotypes were supported by the research as they were found in the cards whose recipients were individuals of the age of 60 years and above. The findings suggest that the society aging is a social problem rather than a natural process. 

However, the research found positive attributes as far as the senior population is concerned. Some of the messages in the cards communicated how the aged were endowed with wisdom, being an inspiration to the world, and influencing many lives in a positive way. The positive stereotype in this research study implies that there is a tremendous change in the prose indicated in greeting cards towards the older adults. 


The research suggests that in the future more compassion will be shown to the elderly in the society. The assertion is attributed to the fact there were a several messages that appreciated the old age. However, this is mere anticipation because the society views old age as a social problem rather than a natural course of life. The attitude towards ageism in the contemporary societies is negative. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). The Purpose of Greeting Cards.


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