Second ISA Forum of Sociology, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1-4 August 2012

Research Committee on
Sociology of Aging, RC11

  on-line programme

Programme Coordinators

Committee members

RC11 Liaison in Argentina
Adriana Fassio, Universidad de Buenos Aires,


All Forum participants (presenters, chairs, discussants, etc.) need to pay the early registration fee by April 10, 2012, in order to be included in the programme. If not registered, their names will not appear in the Programme or Abstracts Book.


provisional as of March 15, 2012, in alphabetical order


Age based inequalities: Recent research and challenges


Caring for older adults with dementia

As the aging population increases across the globe, the numbers of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is also growing. Indeed, this increase has been referred to as an epidemic. Papers are invited on any and all aspects of care for individuals with dementia, whether it is within long term care institutions or within a family setting in the community. Presentations examining any aspects of care within those settings are welcome in this Session, including, but not restricted to: caregiver or patient/resident quality of life or burden, best practises within long term care institutions, how to deliver person-centred care, the effectiveness of exercise, pet therapy, dementia medications, etc. Empirical, theoretical, and methodological/measurement papers are welcome.


Connecting Generations: Societal Policies and Family Relations


Demographic challenges associated with aging populations in the developing world

Joint session of RC11 Sociology of Aging and RC41 Sociology of Population [host committee]
The number and proportion of older adults is growing rapidly in many developing countries and regions. These parts of the world are destined to be confronting challenges as a function of their aging populations, particularly when population aging is accompanied by weak formal systems of health and material support. Yet, older populations are still often ignored when it comes to the development of population policy, suggesting a need for research that concentrates on demographic themes of concern to older adults, such as morbidity, mortality, migration and informal support structures. This Session seeks papers that will address challenges associated with aging populations in particular developing countries or regions, or that examine these challenges comparatively across countries.


Empirical methods in aging research

Joint session of RC11 Sociology of Aging and RC33 Logic and Methodology in Sociology [host committee]
Against the backdrop of aging populations, many researchers, practitioners, and lay-persons ask what aging nowadays entails. They wonder what the characteristics of older people are, how social institutions such as states and families react to aging populations, and how older people themselves perceive aging and their role in society. Aging therefore is a flourishing research topic.

However, scientists who conduct aging research face a series of challenges that are specific to their research topic. For example, how do you collect information among people who might be too frail to answer questions? Another example, how do you measure a concept that changed several times throughout the respondent’s life-course?

This session will address those and related questions. The papers submitted to this session should address questions and challenges that arise when scholars plan and conduct empirical aging research. Examples for possible topics are: Conceptual and empirical papers are both equally welcome.


Extending working lives: Are workplace practises convergent with recent policy directions?


Generations: Connections across the life course

This session is concerned with the complex interactions of family generations over the life course – with special emphasis on adult children and (elderly) parents.The focus is on relevant bonds between family generations, links between family and the state (e.g. consequences of welfare state regulations for intergenerational solidarity) as well as connections between intergenerational cohesion and social stratification. Papers that address the connections between theoretical considerations and empirical investigations are especially welcome, including those unique to particular national contexts, as well as international comparisons.


Images of old age

Old age is becoming more heterogeneous, and so are the images of old age. For a long time, old age was seen as a time of dependency and inactivity. More recently, however, images of old age as a time of leisure, of self-fulfilment and of giving back to the community, have emerged. Currently, all those images of old age exist side by side, although their prevalence differs, for example across countries and between genders.

This Session invites papers that examine current images of old age. Papers should address the extent to which these images are grounded in the life situation of older people and the extent to which they are shaped by culture and traditions. Submissions to this Session should also consider how images of old age influence opportunities and social roles of older people.


Images, Meaning, and Discourses of Ageing


Intergenerational Relations: Intimate Ties and Solidarity


Intergenerational solidarity: Bringing the public and the private into dialogue


Intersections of gender and age relations

The intersections of relations of gender and age affect policies governing institutional support of familial caregiving, pensions and social insurance policies such as the Social Security program in the U.S., the employment opportunities and earnings of older men and women, and the marketing of anti-aging products by a multi-billion dollar industry. As global recession focuses attention on social insurance programs and increases competition for high-paying jobs, age relations may grow increasingly hostile to old people, and may do so in gendered ways.

This Session invites the submission of papers that consider the ways in which age and gender relations, as well as other systems of inequality, influence experiences of aging now and in the future. Submissions to this Session should consider how the meaning, timing, and construction of “old age” is shaped by gender relations and other systems of inequality, and how these intersections are to be considered in theory, research, and practice related to aging.


Later life decision making: Consumption, home care, and end of life


Old age and society: Views from Latin America

The region societies are characterized by running into their populations ageing what produces changes in the social structure. How is this fact approached? How are the societies principal institutions –governments, economy, and family- adapting to the increasing number of old people? How do receive the impact of ageing the social structure strategic sectors such as education system, labor market, social security, health prevention and care?

Old age diversity is being shaped throughout the life-course according to individual as well as structural characteristics. Age, whatever is its consideration, is not the basis of diversity nor is gender, social class or ethnic group by themselves. To this purpose, the interconnection of the different social interaction forms must be taken into account as they frequently operate simultaneously. Although they can be approached separately, in order to have a comprehensive view of the social diversity, it is necessary to investigate them as a whole.


Panel: The life-course perspective in Latin America


Participation and cultural sociology of the life course. Part I

Joint session of RC10 Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management [host committee] and RC11 Sociology of Aging
The session invites papers that will apply a cultural sociological framework (including theories of Clifford Geertz and Jeffrey Alexander, among others) to studying the culturally constructed self-stereotypes, meanings, and images of aging both within and between different countries, and ways in which meanings of aging may influence physical, mental, and social health at different stages of the life course. The meanings of life course transitions, and the markers of successful passage from one stage of life to the next in the time frame that is considered culturally appropriate are shaping ways in which people conceive of aging. There is emerging research evidence that demonstrates that positive self-stereotypes of aging are associated with better health outcomes in later life; however further research is wanted to uncover ways in which self-stereotypes of aging are formed at different life course stages, and to investigate what health outcomes -- physical, mental, or social -- are influenced by these self-stereotypes the most.

These questions are very relevant as all the societies of the global communities are facing the issues of population aging, with the associated concerns about the need to ensure that the growing numbers of older adults may age in a healthy state and lead lives full of dignity and meaning. Papers in this session will throw light on cultural processes whereby images and self-stereotypes of aging are constructed and impact health in different societies. Both papers that focus on a specific country and those that make cross-cultural comparisons are welcome.


Participation and cultural sociology of the life course. Part II

Joint session of RC10 Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management [host committee] and RC11 Sociology of Aging


Public policies to promote healthy and happy aging

As the increase in life expectancy continues into the twenty-first century, there is growing need for research to examine both the quantity and the quality of life. While extensive sociological research has focused on health and happiness among older adults, comparatively little is known about translating empirical findings into public policies to promote well-being.

This Session aims to contribute to integrate advances in scientific research. Papers are invited on topics that consider the promotion of healthy and happy aging through a variety of policies, including: labor force participation, social security, continuous education, mental health, and other policies.


RC11 Business Meeting


Retirement, older workers, and pension policy

Pension policy is a very relevant today given that so many countries in Latin America have made radical changes in the structure of their social security schemes in recent years. This Session will assess the lessons for other countries around the world based on the evidence from Latin America. Of particular interest to a sociological audience is the impact, present and future, of these changes on the most vulnerable segments of society. Latin America is also experiencing very rapid population aging. This has obvious implications for retirement trends, unemployment trends among older workers, as well as the well being of older workers and retirees more generally. In many countries, including many Latin American countries, there are cross-cutting pressures to explore, that is, pressures to retire early (from employers looking for younger, less expensive workers with cutting edge technical skills) and pressures to remain in the labor force longer (from governments that need increased income and payroll tax revenues to help finance existing public pension schemes).

Papers that address such issues in the context of Latin America are especially welcome, although papers addressing retirement, older workers and pension policies in other countries or international comparative context, are also welcome.


Transformation of leisure and ageing perspectives

Joint session of RC11 Sociology of Aging and RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee]
A number of societies are seeing significant increment in aged populations. Not only is leisure required to cater to their needs but contrarily in some places the perspectives and experiences of senior populations are causing a transformation in the way in which leisure may be viewed. Volunteering activities could be taken as one example. Perspectives of traditional societies with regard to the aged, which are now becoming more available for examination, could contribute significantly to this emerging need. As such, this session aims to draw multicultural and multinational comment on the relationship between leisure and ageing.




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November 2012