ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan, July 2014

Research Committee on
Sociology of Aging, RC11

RC11 main page

Program Coordinator

Program Committee

Number of allocated sessions including Business Meeting: 22.

 

Planned sessions and dates/time subject to further changes

in alphabetical order:

 

Monday, July 14, 2014: 3:30 PM - 5:20 PM

Age Inequalities, Ageism and Age Discrimination: Still on the Rise?

Session Organizer
Lucie VIDOVICOVA, Masaryk University, Czech Republic, lucie.vidovic@seznam.cz

Session in English

It is 45 years since the term “ageism” was coined by Robert Buttler pointing at the disparities and unequal treatment of people on the basis of their chronological age. Since then the topic was picked up by many academics, philosophers, policy makers and researchers. The agenda was set, as a media analysts teach us. Not only has the interest in the phenomena risen, but also its recognition among lay actors. Supported by increasing awareness of populational ageing, the records and areas of recognised unfair treatment on the basis of age are raising, especially in (Eastern) Europe and North America. The typical result of a question “Could you tell me whether, in your opinion, age discrimination is very widespread, fairly widespread, fairly rare or very rare?” is however indecisive: latest Eurobarometr (393/2012) counts 45% for total “widespread” and 46% for “rare” (9% “don`t know” and “non existent” spontaneous answers), but huge differences between the European countries remain.

For this session we invite papers discussing the evolution of the phenomena of age discrimination both on empirical and theoretical grounds. Papers dealing with international and/or topic areas comparison are encouraged.

 

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Aging and the Body in Everyday Life

Session Organizer
Laura HURD CLARKE, University of British Columbia, Canada, laura.hurd.clarke@ubc.ca

Session in English

Our bodies are the most immediate way by which we experience the social and physical realities of growing older and the gendered, societal norms and ideals which delimit and shape our everyday lives. This session will showcase papers which examine the “doing of gender” (West and Zimmerman, 1987) in everyday later life. In particular the papers will explore how idealized norms of femininity and masculinity are performed, transmuted, and/or resisted through the aging body. Papers will consider such topics as appearance work, body image, disability, health and illness, sexuality, and relationships (amongst other related issues). Papers may further investigate how these embodied experiences vary by one’s socio-cultural position. As such, the papers will explore how the experience of the body in later life varies by age, gender, ethnicity/culture, sexual orientation, and social class as well as the impact of factors such as ableism, ageism, healthism, racism, sexism and other discourses of exclusion.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Aging, Globalization and Inequality. Presidential session

Session Organizer
Anne MARTIN-MATTHEWS, University of British Columbia, Canada, amm@mail.ubc.ca

Session in English

Not open for submission of abstracts.
This RC11 Presidential Symposium will address the ways in which growing old is being transformed through processes associated with globalization. It will consider the impact of globalization and of multinational organizations and agencies on the lives of older people; factors contributing to the “social construction” of later life in varied global contexts; and issues associated with diversity and inequality in old age, arising through the effects of cumulative advantage and disadvantage over the life course. These different themes are analyzed using a variety of theoretical perspectives drawn from sociology, social policy, political science, and social anthropology.

Each of the three presenters in this session have an international reputation for research on issues of aging, globalization and inequality. Chris Phillipson is a co-author on the ground-breaking book, Ageing, Globalisation and Inequality: The New Critical Gerontology (2006). Susan McDaniel holds a Canada Research Chair in Global Population & Life Course and has conducted comparative international research with colleagues around the globe, including in Japan. Akiko Hashimoto is a comparative sociologist at the University of Pittsburgh and has recently written about Japan in the context of cultures and globalization.

 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

Authors Meet Critics Session. New Approaches of Conceptualizing Intergenerational Relations

Session Organizer
Andreas HOFF, Zittau-Görlitz University, Germany, a.hoff@hszg.de

Session in English

Not open for submission of abstracts.
Proposed authors
Kurt LÜSCHER, University of Konstanz, Germany: Intergenerational Ambivalence – Widening the Horizon
Simon BIGGS, University of Melbourne, Australia
Ariela LOWENSTEIN, Haifa University, Israel: Intergenerational Intelligence

Population ageing has left its mark on intergenerational relations in family, community and society, which have been undergoing significant changes in recent years. Traditional ways of intergenerational interaction cannot longer being taken for granted. Whereas increasing longevity is allowing for an extended life time of intergenerational interaction, declining fertility and increasing geographical distances between the generations are threatening the very same. At the same time, new technologies are opening new avenues of intergenerational interaction. Growing individualism in our contemporary postmodern societies increases the need for continuous identity reconstruction, which includes multiple generational roles. Do traditional theories on intergenerational relations still reflect these realities?

This session proposes the need for new approaches of conceptualizing intergenerational relations in the light of these groundbreaking changes. The turn of the millennium witnessed the emergence of the ‘intergenerational ambivalence’ concept as an attempt to conceptualize the complexities of multiple and often contradictory intergenerational roles and relations. In 2011, the concept of ‘generational intelligence’ proposed a proactive method for discovering generational identities and for raising intergenerational awareness, both preconditions for a new quality of intergenerational interaction in postmodern society. This session aims bringing together some of the main proponents of this new discourse with the aim of kick-starting a public debate on future intergenerational interaction and how to conceptualize it.

 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Grandparenting

Session Organizers
Virpi TIMONEN, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, timonenv@tcd.ie
Sara ARBER, University of Surrey, United Kingdom, s.arber@surrey.ac.uk

Session in English

Grandparenting is a dynamic family practice that varies over time and between societies. Grandparenting is shaped by material and structural realities such as social class and the welfare state context. Within any society there are patterned diversities in the practices of grandparenting, associated with material circumstances, ethnicity, geographical propinquity and family structure. Gender norms also exert a strong influence on grandparenting practices that are negotiated across the dyadic grandparent-grandchild relationship and the triad of grandparent–adult child–grandchild. Norms and expectations associated with grandparenting may be in conflict, and grandparents use agency to negotiate the balance between the norms of “being there” (to assist), “not interfering”, and drawing boundaries around their involvement in the lives of the younger family generations.

We welcome quantitative and qualitative papers, based on cross-national or single-context research. We particularly encourage papers on under-researched or poorly understood aspects of grandparenting. These include, but are not limited to, grandfathering, transnational (or long-distance) grandparenting, great-grandparenting, lesbian/gay grandparents, three-generational studies, grandparenting in the broader extended family context, step-grandparenting, and grandchildren`s perspectives. Much more research is needed on how grandparenting practices vary by gender, lineage, class, and ethnicity, and we invite abstract submissions that address these intersections.

 

Friday, July 18, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

How Do Telecare and Assistive Technologies Impact on Care-Giving?

Session Organizer
Andreas HOFF, Zittau-Görlitz University, Germany, a.hoff@hszg.de

Session in English

Scientific knowledge has been multiplying at exponential rates, with its translation into practical applications also happening at an ever increasing speed. So-called “smart home” technologies, health monitoring techniques and assistive technologies counterbalancing the impact of physical, cognitive, vision, and hearing impairment are beginning to revolutionise formal and informal care provision. These technologies have the potential to improve care recipients` well-being substantially. “Telecare” technologies can also help family carers monitoring the person in their care using various sensors placed around the care recipient`s home, taking immediate action if needed, without being physically there. However, gains in physical ability and greater independence may come at a high price: a less intimate caring relationship, in which the care recipient becomes monitored from a distance and “remote-controlled”.

This session aims to explore how the use of modern technologies changes the caring relationship between care giver and care recipient in informal care. It will consider the benefits arising from using such technologies, as well as the possible emergence of new risks.

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 12:30 PM - 2:20 PM

Inequality and the Future of Aging: Global and Comparative Perspectives on Trends, Implications, Policies, and Practices

Integrative Session: RC07 Futures Research, RC10 Social Participation, Organizational Democracy and Self-Management, and RC11 Sociology of Aging.
Not open for submission of abstracts.

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

Innovation and Public Policies, New Answers for New Challenges

Session Organizer
Adriana FASSIO, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, adrianafassio@yahoo.com

Session in English

The increasing of life expectancy and the tendency of population aging reinforce the need of debate about the limits of public policies and the participation of the own elderly like active actors in the development and in their own welfare. The main issue of this session is to discuss and compare researches and experiences since the perspective of elderly rights in different countries. To inquire about the public, profit and non profit organizations which execute public policies like social innovation places where they try to afford new challenges in humanity history like increasing of the older population. The questions we would answer in the session are related on the paradigms of public policies and the methodological approaches put in practice, and also, over the point of view of the multiple actors in planning, executing, monitoring and evaluating the policies: elderly, their families, caregivers, professionals and the public and private organizations involved.

 

Life Course Influences on Inequalities in Later Life: Comparative Perspectives

Session Organizers
Hal KENDIG, Australian National University, Australia, hal.kendig@anu.edu.au
James NAZROO, Manchester University, United Kingdom, james.nazroo@manchester.ac.uk

Session in English

Not open for submission of abstracts.
There is increasing recognition that the quality of later life is influenced by social advantages and disadvantages over the life course. This symposium examines variations in the pattern of life course trajectories (across countries, gender, class and ethnicity) and the influence of these trajectories on later life outcomes in terms of psychological well-being, health and social inclusion. Key influences under consideration include early life circumstances, education, work experiences, family circumstances, and social class attainment. We examine ways in which life opportunities and constraints vary systematically among social groups in terms of gender, ethnicity, and spatial location. We do this by drawing on comparable and detailed life history data collected in the UK, mainland Europe and Australia, and also draw on data available from the US.

The societal context of our investigations – from Australia, England, mainland European countries and the US – will highlight the influence of variable social structures and policies. Our primary focus is on the baby boom cohort making transitions during times of economic and policy turmoil and societal ageing. Variation between countries will shed light on public and private responsibilities for intergenerational equity and welfare during times of social change.

 

Life-Course Influences on Old Age

Session Organizer
Kathrin KOMP, Umeå University, Sweden, kathrin.komp@soc.umu.se

Session in English

Populations around the globe age. This demographic shift draws attention to the situation of older people, and it makes old age the focus of many ongoing debates. Individuals want to plan for old age, the media discusses it, researchers study it, and policy-makers try to influence it. Grasping the situation of older people, however, requires a life-course perspective. This perspective purports that events can have time-delayed effects on people’s lives. Thus, the situation in old age partly depends on events during youth and middle-age.

This session explores such life-course influences on old age. It studies which events are particularly important for the situation in old age, and when influences on old age start. In doing so, it looks at the effects of historical events at the societal level and at personal events within the lives of individuals. Examples for such influential historical events are the current economic crisis and the earthquake that hit Japan in 2011. Examples for influential personal events are poverty during childhood and youth unemployment. Moreover, this session discusses the implications of adopting a life-course perspective on old age for, e.g., healthy and active ageing, policy-making, and workforce participation.

 

Old-Age Security in the 21st Century

Session Organizer
Esteban CALVO, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile, esteban.calvo@udp.cl

Session in English

By 2025, one quarter of the world`s population aged 60 and over will be living in China. Therefore, the success or failure of China to reform its old-age pension system will affect a major proportion of the world’s population. This session aims to focus on old-age pension reforms worldwide. Numerous now-developed countries first experienced a cultural rationalization, then economic modernization, and after that faced the challenges of population aging. Distinctive characteristics will shape the consequences of the reforms being implemented in these countries.

One of the most predictable challenges will be the financing problem. How to finance the pension system is a major question almost everywhere, but low-income nations face additional difficulties. Low coverage and compliance rates aggravate the financing problem and constitute a second major challenge, particularly in rural areas. Non-rationalized cultures, typically concentrated in rural areas, tend to be resistant to long term financial planning.

The main objective of an old-age pension system is to provide financial security for elderly people. Where a substantial fraction of the elderly are at risk of poverty, substantial income redistribution is generally needed. Current reforms may have positive benefits for the overall economy (e.g. developing equity markets, achieving fiscal stability, increasing national savings, and boosting the economic growth), but we must ask at what price for vulnerable segments of the population such as women, low-wage workers, recent migrants from rural areas, and those who remain in rural areas.

 

Older Migrants and Migrant Care Workers

Session Organizer
Jacobus HOFFMAN, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, jacobus.hoffman@ageing.ox.ac.uk

Session in English

This session aims to focus on the broad theme of migration and aging. Thereby, two very different aspects can be differentiated: (1) older people migrating to other countries (in order to join their family or in search of better health care provision) and (2) younger and middle-aged people migrating to become care-givers for older people (migrant care workers). One widely recognised difficulty in this context is the organisation and the provision of care for the elderly in ageing societies in combination with a decline of traditional family structures. Research on how migration in later life shapes the welfare needs, preferences and expectations of older people is in its infancy.

This session aims to explore older migrants` experiences of accessing welfare and the barriers they encounter in negotiating inclusion into mainstream services. Language and citizenship can become main obstacles. Community organizations may play a major role in empowering older migrants, as well as migrants providing care to older people.

 

Older Workers and Ageing Workforces

Session Organizer
Esteban CALVO, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile, esteban.calvo@udp.cl

Session in English

Workforce aging is an issue across the world. EU member states have enacted anti-discrimination legislation in respect of older people. Such legislation has been shown to reduce age-related inequalities, however, previous experiences of anti-discrimination legislation, for instance in respect of gender, race and disability, have demonstrated that changing attitudes is a longer-term task, and that employment discrimination is frequently embedded within taken for granted practices and norms.

This session aims to discuss challenges of aging workforces both for national economies and for older workers themselves. Furthermore, it aims to compare to what extent these challenges are alike or different in countries across the globe. The sociological analysis should also consider perspectives and experiences of various societal stakeholders, including employers, trade unions and policy makers. The session will look at the challenges which organizations face in responding flexibly to legislative changes, explore the ways in which managers conceptualize aging issues in the workplace, and identify lessons that can be learned.

 

Population Ageing, Work and Caregiving Responsibilities in Four Liberal Democracies

Session Organizer
Kate O’LOUGHLIN, University of Sydney, Australia, kate.oloughlin@sydney.edu.au

Session in English

Not open for submission of abstracts.
Workforce participation and caregiving are each central to global capacities to respond constructively to rapid population ageing, yet the relationships between them are inadequately researched and understood. The baby boomer cohort, now approaching late middle age, faces unprecedented pressures to manage paid work alongside caring longer and more intensively for family members and friends. This symposium will explore the nexus between paid work and caregiving with a particular focus on the gendered nature of caregiving and the baby boomer cohort using data from national data sets and social surveys in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. Data from each country will be presented to show national trends as well as provide a basis for comparative analyses on the interrelations between caregiving, paid work, and health status for older individuals. The findings will be discussed in terms of their significance for employers, social security systems, and in the context of policy initiatives within and across the four countries.

 

Poverty at Times of Affluence

Session Organizer
Lucie VIDOVICOVA, Masaryk University, Czech Republic, lucie.vidovic@seznam.cz

Session in English

In the international comparison the European countries belong among the wealthiest countries in the World. Older people are at the lowest risk of the poverty and of social exclusion in most of them. This leads some of the theorist to talk about the need of new generational contract and about new types of age discrimination against the children and young people. However, the multiple jeopardises and cumulative disadvantages experienced by some of the subgroups of heterogeneous population of older people in deed give a strong legitimacy to the issue of poverty in higher age. The rising expenses on housing, drugs, services – not included in income based measures of social exclusion – substantially increase the risk of poverty of the groups dependent on social system. In this session we invite papers to discuss the various aspects related to social exclusion of older people, its subjective and objective meanings, determinants and outcomes, including both income measures and spending (e.g. consumer behaviour).

 

Preparing for a Career in the Sociology of Aging

Session Organizer
Sara ARBER, University of Surrey, United Kingdom, s.arber@surrey.ac.uk

Session in English

This session is targeted to trainees and early career researchers in the sociology of aging. Two – three RC11 members with experience as journal editors and associate editors, and as research centre directors, will make very brief presentations on key issues in successful publication and grantscraft in the fields of sociology of aging and in social gerontology. Issues of disciplinary strength and multidisciplinary collaboration will be discussed. An open discussion session with opportunities for input by all participants will then follow. Participants will be encouraged to register in advance for this session, and to submit questions to the lead RC11 members prior to the session as well.

 

RC11 Business Meeting

Session Organizer
Anne MARTIN-MATTHEWS, University of British Columbia, Canada, amm@mail.ubc.ca

 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

RC11 Roundtable: Intergenerational Dependencies

Session Organizer
Michael FINE, Macquarie University, Australia, michael.fine@mq.edu.au

Session in English

Research and theory that examines ageing from the perspective of intergenerational dependencies is concerned with the way that ageing affects not just those who are old, but all age groups. It is concerned with the forms of solidarity, exchange, dependencies and conflicts between and within generations and genders, at the level of individuals, families and social networks, as well as across larger social aggregates such as communities, regions, nations and international contexts. The objective of this session is to promote sociological discussion of critical theoretical analyses as well as promote comparative empirical research.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

Social Class in Later Life: Power, Identity and Lifestyle

Session Organizer
Ian REES JONES, Cardiff University, United Kingdom, jonesir4@cardiff.ac.uk

Session in English

Not open for submission of abstracts.
This symposium will be based on a collection of research papers edited by Marvin Formosa and Paul Higgs entitled “Social Class in Later Life: Power, Identity and Lifestyle” published by Policy Press (forthcoming). The symposia will be based around key presentations addressing aspects of class and later life. First, Formosa will present a brief overview setting out key theoretical underpinnings of social class and highlighting issues arising from the different approaches to social class in later life. Second, Victor will present on the relationship between social class and patterns of care and caring. Third, Jones will address the literature on health inequalities in later life and evidence for the continuing salience of social class. Fourth, Hyde will present findings from analysis of cross-national data on class and age identity in later life. Fifth, Phillipson will discuss interactions of ageing and class in a globalized world. Finally, Higgs will act as discussant for the symposia.

This symposium addresses global inequality and the diversities of Ageing within an Unequal World through the prism of social class. Contributors will address different social and cultural understandings of class and class relations in later life in a global context. Findings based on international comparative analysis of World and European data sets will be presented as well as examples of specific aspects of later life experiences such as care and caring. In this sense the symposium will encourage discussion of sociological understandings of class inequalities in later life at global, national, regional, local, and interpersonal levels.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

The Challenge of Cultural Gerontology

Session Organizers
Julia TWIGG, University of Kent, United Kingdom, j.m.twigg@ukc.ac.uk
Wendy MARTIN, Brunel University, United Kingdom, wendy.martin@brunel.ac.uk

Session in English

Not open for submission of abstracts.
Over the last decade, Cultural Gerontology has emerged as one of the most significant and vibrant parts of writing about age. Reflecting the wider Cultural Turn, it has expanded the field of gerontology beyond all recognition. No longer confined to frailty, or by the dominance of medical and social welfare perspectives, gerontology now addresses the nature and experience of later years in the widest sense. Drawing on diverse areas of study that encompass the arts and humanities – novels, painting, music – that extend into new areas of life – clothing, hair, travel, consumption, gardening – and that draw on new methodologies – visual, narrative, material – these developments have located the study of later years within a larger and richer context.

This symposium illustrates key themes from the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology, edited by Julia Twigg and Wendy Martin, to be published in 2014. The series of presentations include:“The Emergence of Cultural Gerontology” (Twigg and Martin); ‘Distinction and Identity in Later Life” (Gilleard and Higgs); “Outlining and Applying an Intersectional Framework” (Calasanti); “Communities and Connectivities” (Jones); and “Travel and Tourism in Later Life” (Hyde). This symposium therefore introduces key debates within cultural gerontology and provides a critical analysis of their development.

 

Joint Sessions

Click on the session title to read its description and the scheduled day/time.

Environment, Ageing and Vulnerability

Joint session of RC11 Sociology of Aging and RC24 Environment and Society [host committee]

 

Family and Elder Care

Joint session of RC06 Family Research and RC11 Sociology of Aging [host committee]

 

Future of Aging: Global and Comparative Perspectives on Trends, Implications, Policies, and Practices

Joint session of RC07 Futures Research [host committee] and RC11 Sociology of Aging

 

Health and Social Care in the Context of Population Aging

Joint session of RC11 Sociology of Aging and RC15 Sociology of Health [host committee]

 

Japan`s Experience with Population Aging: Policy Challenges and Innovations

Joint session of RC11 Sociology of Aging [host committee] and RC41 Sociology of Population

 

Population Aging in South, East and Southeast Asia: Challenges and Opportunities

Joint session of RC11 Sociology of Aging and RC41 Sociology of Population [host committee]

 

Visual Methods in Ageing Research: Methodological Issues

Joint session of RC11 Sociology of Aging and WG03 Visual Sociology [host committee]

 

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March 2014