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Dr Virpi Ylänne


Dr Virpi Ylänne Position: Senior Lecturer Email:
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 75049
Extension: 75049
Location: John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cathays, Cardiff

Research Group

Centre for Language and Communication Research

Postgraduate Supervision

I currently supervise a doctoral study on older workers’ orientations to workplace age relations and retirement (by Sheila Gewolb) and affordances of videoconferencing interactions (by Dorottya Csenge Cserzö). In the past I have supervised PhD students on topics such as ‘Functional semantic analysis of Yoruba death notices in English’ (Dr Ayo Banji) and ‘Portraying older age in television advertisements: a comparative study between the UK and Taiwan’ (Dr Chin-Hui Chen).  I am particularly interested in receiving PhD proposals from students interested in carrying out research on aspects of age identity and representations of ageing and middle/old age, using qualitative methodologies.

Research Interests

My research interests are in discourse and social interaction and discursive representations of age(ing) and lifespan identities. My most recent work has concentrated on media representations of older people and ageing and discourses of tourist identities. My current research project examines news coverage of older first time parents and personal narratives of parenting at middle age.

Selected Publications

Ylänne, V. (ed.) (2012). Representing Ageing: Images and Identities.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Williams, A., Wadleigh, P. M. and Ylänne, V. (2010). ‘Images of older people in UK magazine advertising: Toward a typology’. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 71(2), 83-114.

Ylänne, V., Williams, A. and Wadleigh, P. M. (2009). ‘Ageing well?  Older people’s health and well being as portrayed in UK magazine advertisements’. International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 4(2), 33-62.

Thurlow, C., Jaworski, A. and Ylänne, V. (2010). ‘Transient identities, new mobilities: Holiday postcards’.  In C. Thurlow and A. Jaworski . Tourism Discourse. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 91-125.  

Thurlow, C., Jaworski, A. and Ylänne, V. (2010). ‘Language crossing and identity play: Television holiday shows’.  In C. Thurlow and A. Jaworski. Tourism Discourse.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 163-190.




Originally from Helsinki, Finland, I have been living, studying and working in the UK since 1983. I gained my BA Humanities (Linguistics) from Hatfield, PGCE in TES/FL and MA in Applied Linguistics from University of Wales, Bangor and PhD from University of Wales, Cardiff.

With regard to my research, I was involved in the ‘Language and Tourism as a Global Cultural Industry’ strand of the Centre’s Leverhulme-funded Language and Global Communication project (2001-2006). During 2004-2007 I co-directed (with Dr Angie Williams) a three year ESRC-funded project on ‘Images of Elders in UK Media: Perceptions and Representations’ which focused on print media and TV advertising, using Content Analysis and Discourse Analysis of focus group discussions as methods. An edited volume Representing Ageing: Images and Identities (2012, Palgrave Macmillan) followed up some of the themes from the research project. I have organised workshops and symposia around this theme, too, at the Sociolinguistics Symposium (2008) and VII European Congress of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Bologna, 2011). I have also carried out collaborative research on community pharmacy interactions from a Discourse Analytic point of view. My current research project examines discourses of parenting at a later age, focusing in the first instance on news media and personal narratives.

As far as my teaching is concerned, I am currently the convenor of a Year 3 module Lifespan Communication and an MA module Language and Lifespan Identity. I also contribute to Year 3 Children, Language and Communication.