From the President

Dear RC-11 members,

‘God fortsättning’ is one of the phrases one hears very often at this time of the year in Sweden. This phrase means roughly ‘hope the New Year started well and that it continues that way’. Thus, let me begin by saying ‘god fortsättning’ to you all! I hope 2020 started on a good note!

The beginning of an RC-11 year is always synonymous with newsletter-preparation. This means that time has come for
Photo of Sandra Torres
me to bring you up to date about what we in the executive committee have been up to lately. The first thing to mention is that we have been busy coordinating the program content for the ISA Forum in Porto Alegre in mid-July. Program coordination entails, among other things, turning the sessions that you proposed into a coherent program. Thus, my first thanks go to those who proposed a session for our program, and reviewed the abstracts for it: Katrin Komp-Leukkunen (University of Helsinki, Finland); Wendy Martin (Brunel University, UK); Grzegorz Gawron (University of Silenia, Poland); Esteban Calvo (Universidad Mayor, Chile); Myra Hamilton (University of New South Wales, Australia); Paulina Rojek-Adamek (University of Krakow, Poland); Otto Gerdina (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), and the late Jacob John Kattakayam (University of Kerala, India). The work that you have done for us already is greatly appreciated! We thank you also in advance for chairing those sessions for us! The session themes look very interesting indeed, and I am excited about Porto Alegre.

As you may have just noted, I wrote ‘late’ Jacob since I am afraid I am the bearer of sad news. One of our RCs Vice Presidents – professor emeritus Jacob John Kattakayam (University of Kerala, India) – has passed away. Jacob was an active member of our research committee for decades, and served – in different capacities - on the executive board of RC-11. As recently appointed president of our research committee, I only had the pleasure of working with him for a year but have many fond memories of the array of questions he posed to me (and others) while attending our congresses. On a more personal note I will forever remember him for the various video messages (with commentaries) he left on my mobile phone over the past year while attending various policy making activities around the world. One of these messages contained a video about ongoing negotiations in the Working Group on Aging coordinated by the United Nation’s General Assembly. In it, he shared his views on the negotiations he was witnessing and taught me a few things about what scholars in aging can do when attending such a forum. Jacob was passionate about research on aging, as well as contributing to policy debates to improve the situation in which vulnerable older people find themselves. The service he did on the global stage is most likely different from the work he did in India. Thus, we asked one of Jacob’s colleague (Professor Arvind Joshi at Banaras Hindu University) to give us some insight into his contributions to the sociology of aging in India. Jacob was passionate about RC-11, and as a research community, we are lucky to have had his input for so many years. Thus, on behalf of our RC’s executive committee, as well our most recent past presidents (Ann-Martin Mathews, Virpi Timonen and Lars Andersson), I send our sincerest condolences to Jacob’s family, friends and colleagues in India.

Following up on ISA Forum-related work, let me name that the coordination of a conference program can be a daunting exercise when one is not accustomed to the systems that an organization utilizes and the various guidelines program coordinators are expected to follow. Suffice it to say that this kind of work is done in a series of steps and following them has not been easy at times since ISA’s guidelines sometimes generate more questions than they answer. My second thanks go therefore to Izabela Barlinska (ISA’s executive secretary) for all of the help she has provided me so far when it comes to coordinating RC-11’s program for Porto Alegre! We have namely managed to complete half of the tasks on the great ‘to-do-list’ associated with program coordination, and her help has been instrumental in achieving this. We need, however, the help of those of you who will be attending the forum in Porto Alegre and have experience of chairing sessions at international conferences. As we explain in section 2 of this newsletter, we will host more sessions than you originally proposed, and are therefore in need of session chairs. Thus, if you will be in Porto Alegre and have session chairing experience, do contact me to offer your services (e-mail address in the next section).

One of the next tasks in our ‘Porto-Alegre-related-to-do-list’ entails allocating the registration grants that ISA offers. Curiously enough, as I write this very column, I see that my e-mail is receiving applications for these grants from some of you. Worth noting is that ISA just informed me that our RC has been awarded 2,000 USD for these grants so this is the size of the funds that we will be able to allocate to RC-11 members who are eligible for these grants, have had their abstract(s) accepted and need funding to cover some of their costs for participation. Thus, in about a month’s time some of you will be receiving good news. Needless to say I hope that those of you who have applied for a grant but are not granted one will be able to fund your trip somehow. We look namely very much forward to meeting you all in Porto Alegre.

The registration deadline for presenters at the ISA Forum is March 19th so do make sure you register in time since we cannot finalize our program unless we know who will be there. At this stage, distributed papers could be turned into oral presentations depending on how many of you with an accepted paper end up registering. Thus, although the program looks thematically coherent at the moment, there is still some work to be done once registration is closed. I am therefore keeping my fingers crossed that our program will remain as coherent as it looks at the moment once registrations have been completed.

In tandem with program coordination, we are also in the midst of planning the skills-based workshops for junior scholars that our research committee will be offering in conjunction with the ISA Forum. As I mentioned in an earlier ‘President Column’, we managed to secure a grant to offer these workshops while in Porto Alegre, so if you are a junior scholar who needs training in either publishing in anonymous peer-reviewed journals, and/or the basic skills that sociologists of aging in the beginning of their academic careers need, these pre-conference workshop(s) are for you! Please contact me directly if you are interested so that we know which out of several workshops we could offer, you are most interested in. Worth noting is that these workshops will be held as a pre-conference event at the Federal University on Monday July 13th so plan your travel to Porto Alegre accordingly.

As I am sure you can tell by now, we – in the executive committee of our RC - have been busy over the past six months planning the ISA Forum in Porto Alegre. We expect that the next six months will also be about conference-related tasks. We are excited about the work we do for our research community, and hope you feel inspired by it as well.

Prof. Sandra Torres (Uppsala University, Sweden)
President of RC-11

PS: Please feel free to drop me a line via e-mail ( if you have feedback, comments and questions about the work we do. RC-11 is our scientific community, so your input as member is highly appreciated!

Upcoming ISA Forum 2020

The IV ISA Forum of Sociology will be held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, July 14-18, 2020. The ISA Forum of Sociology is designed as a mid-term meeting of Research Committees, Working Groups and Thematic Groups combined with the Business Meeting of the ISA Research Council.

RC11 program coordinators Sandra Torres and Esteban Calvo selected the eleven exciting sessions for our research committee that you, our members, proposed:

  • A Life-Course Perspective on Work and Retirement
  • Ageing, Materiality, the Body and Everyday Life
  • Cross-National Aging Studies
  • Depictions of Aging & Old Age in the Media
  • Loneliness, Depression and Sociability in Oldest Old Persons
  • Making the World Age Friendly: Activation, Co-Production and Social Inclusion of Seniors
  • New Experiences, Inequalities and Practices at the Intersections of Ageing, Gender and Migration
  • Old Age Social Exclusion: Challenges and Solutions
  • Patients' Participation in Shared Decision-Making about Their Health Treatment: Intersections of Disability, Stigma, Inequality, and Discrimination
  • Social and Life-Course Determinants of Late Life Health
Worth mentioning is that we submitted an open session in order to offer more possibilities for you to present your work at the ISA Forum. Because our membership volume make us eligible to have a greater number of sessions than what you had originally proposed, and since this open session received so many abstracts, we turned this one session into seven thematic ones. This means that at our conference in Porto Alegre we will have the sessions mentioned above, as well as sessions generated through the open session call. These have been thematically organized as follows:

  • Life course and inclusion
  • Aging trajectories, socio-economic capital and intergenerational transfers
  • Care provision and policies
  • Aging, gender and intergenerational relations
  • Class and retirement
  • Elderly Care
  • Personas mayors (Presentations in Spanish)

As already mentioned, we need volunteers to chair the seven new sessions we will host so send an e-mail to our president Sandra Torres if you plan to attend to Porto Alegre, have experience as conference chair, and would like to offer your help to our RC (

Meet Our Members

RC11 is all about you, the RC11 community. Hence, we want to take the chance to portray some of our recent as well as longstanding members. In this volume of our newsletter, meet Prof. Ignacio Madero-Cabib!

Affiliation: Institute of Sociology & Department of Public Health, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile & Millenium Nucleus for the Study of the Life Course and Vulnerability, MLIV, Chile (
Ignacio Madero-Cabib
Research interests: My current research and teaching agenda is focused on the impact of cumulative lifetime advantages and disadvantages on vulnerability among older people living in countries with different welfare regimes.

Why did you become an RC11 member? What do you expect from RC11?
I became a member of RC11 after attending the XVIII ISA World Congress in Yokohama, Japan, in 2014. I presented the advances of an article that was part of my PhD thesis, and I remember very well that I got quickly impressed by the high scientific standards of the presentations I heard.

If you could have dinner with a sociologist (dead or alive), who would it be?
I would invite to dinner Julieta Kirkwood, a Chilean sociologist who pioneered gender and feminist studies in a context of a cruel and long civic-military dictatorship.

Job Postings

Ageing & Society is seeking a new Editor-in-Chief

Professor Christina Victor will shortly be coming to the end of her tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Ageing & Society. Cambridge University Press, in collaboration with an Editorial Board search committee, is now inviting applications for a new Editor-in-Chief. The deadline for applications is: 6 March, 2020.

For all the details please visit the Ageing & Society website on:

Research Fellow at the Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities

The Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities (CIRCLE) at the University of Sheffield, UK, is seeking to appoint a Professorial Research Fellow to join its well-established team.

They are looking for someone with an established interest in adult social care, excellent leadership potential, an outstanding research profile, and someone ambitious with a forward research agenda that can contribute to the future success of the Centre. You should be keen to work in collaboration with care sector and international academic partners and committed to achieving policy and practice impact. Applications close 4th May 2020.

For all the details visit:

Call for Papers / Abstracts

Call for abstracts for Special issue “Gender, Age and Aging” in Gender and Research / Gender a Výzkum

Gender and Research / Gender a Výzkum announces a call for abstracts for the thematic issue Gender, Age and Aging, which will be edited by Lucie Vidovićová. The call reads as follows:

Aging is one of the biggest challenges of our times for both societies and individuals. The gendered nature of aging is one of its distinctive characteristics - not only do women have a greater life expectancy, but aging itself is a strongly gendered experience. These may be well known facts but what is less well known is how gender and aging are experienced by social actors, and how this experience is positioned in different cultural contexts and stages of the life-course.

Aging can be seen as a lifelong process that consists of diverse components with heterogenous results. One such result is social exclusion. Current social gerontology follows at least five thematic lines: exclusion through space, place and community; economic exclusion; exclusion from social relations; exclusion from civic rights; and exclusion with respect to access to services. The available research evidence confirms that women and men experience these various forms of exclusion differently. In the case of older women, economic exclusion is very pronounced, which, especially if in combination with other minority statuses, leads to a higher risk of poverty. In the case of loneliness as a product of social exclusion from social ties, the research results are not clear. Some point to higher levels of loneliness in men, as in the case of divorce, while others point to higher levels in women and their experience of widowhood. The different trajectories that women and men experience in later life stages suggest interesting research questions that will be addressed in this thematic issue.

The forthcoming issue opens space for interdisciplinary discussion between social gerontology, gender studies, sociology, social anthropology, and other related disciplines. The issue will respond to voices critical of the absence of an age perspective in feminist studies and will contribute to the development of dialogue. The call also welcomes contributions led by an effort to understand and build theoretical frameworks. We welcome a wide range of thematic targets, provided they reflect the issues of age, gender, and the life course, though these may not be their main analytical line.

If you are interested in publishing in the upcoming issue, please submit an abstract for your paper (max. 250 words) by March 15, 2020 to the editor's office ( and to the visiting editor: Include “Gender and Aging” in the e-mail´s subject. Contributions in Czech, Slovak, and English will be accepted. Guidelines for publishing articles in English are available at:

You will be notified about the acceptance of your abstract by the end of March. We expect the final version to be submitted by September 1, 2020. We also welcome expert reviews and reports relevant to the topic of the forthcoming issue. The special issue will be released in mid-2021.

Gender and Research / Gender a Výzkum is a peer-reviewed scientific transdisciplinary journal of gender studies and feminist theory. The journal is included in SCOPUS, ERIH PLUS, CEJSH, DOAJ and other databases.

More information, including formal requirements for offered manuscripts, is available at:

Call for papers for a thematic issue on “Health Promotion through the life course: A new perspective” in the Italian Journal of Sociology of Education

The thematic issue will be guest-edited by Giuseppina Cersosimo (University of Salerno, ITALY) and Maurizio Merico (University of Salerno, ITALY).

As acknowledged by the international scientific debate, the concept of “health promotion” is (and can) not only (be) limited to individual healthy lifestyles. Health promotion practice is, rather, a key part of public policies’ efforts to address population health inequalities and to avoid medicalization. Health promotion work thus operates across sectors (e.g. education, work, environment, residential), recognizing the social, cultural and economic roots of health and the impact of policy development to shape the environments in which health is determined.

What we propose with this special issue of IJSE is to collect papers which analyse the relevance of health promotion and of appropriate health educational interventions throughout the life course. The main aim is to bring together research and analysis of policies, experiences and interventions dealing with health promotion, and in particular those able to reduce the risk of further diseases and to promote - eventually - a decrease of the financial and economic pressure on welfare systems by improvements in lifestyle, nutrition, disease prevention.

Moreover, this Call for Papers aims to bring together national and international perspectives to inform emerging opportunities in health promotion practice to address health in new and innovative ways, such as: gender-transformative practice, education and human development, social innovation, cultural change, and digital media.

Priority will be accorded to papers:
  1. that critically analyse reflective practice(s) in health promotion and in health in all policies;
  2. that present empirical work carried out using intervention research, participatory practice, population health promotion;
  3. that discuss or reflect on the future of health promotion in the age of globalisation.
Key dates:
  • April 15, 2020: Submission of papers
  • July 10, 2020: reviewers’ feedback* sent to authors (accepted/revise and resubmit/rejected).
  • September 1, 2020: Submission of the revised paper (if needed)
  • October 31, 2020: online publication.
* IJSE adopts a blind reviewing policy, where both the referees and author(s) remain anonymous throughout the process. Each article is reviewed by at least two referees.

All manuscripts must follow the IJSE Author guidelines:

Manuscripts must be submitted electronically to Giuseppina Cersosimo: ( and Maurizio Merico ( More information can be found here:

Call for papers for Special issue "From Work to Retirement - Critical Perspectives on Normative Transitions in Ageing Societies" in Social Sciences

The special issue is guest-edited by Anna Wanka (

The social organisation of the life course as a sequence of education, work, and retirement has undergone radical transformations over recent decades (Phillipson, 2018). While careers are becoming more and more individualised, fragmented, and precarious, policies have turned increasingly towards the imperative of ‘extending working lives’. This has resulted in the paradoxical situation where older adults are politically expected to work longer, while the actual opportunities to do so do not always exist. Moreover, this also impacts the pathways and trajectories on which older adults transition from working life to retirement. Therefore, new forms of retirement transitions need to emerge or gain importance, such as bridge employment, encore careers, partial retirement, or transitions out of long-term unemployment.

The majority of retirement research has so far adopted functionalist or rational choice perspectives in their concerns with individual motivations to retire, institutional possibilities for retiring, and how retiring affects economic and health-related outcomes (cf. Eckerdt, 2010, Wang and Shi, 2014). In reaction to this research, more critical perspectives have acknowledged the socio-structural and institutional constraints older adults face in retiring. The institutional pathways taken by individuals towards retirement have been shown to be strongly dependent upon welfare legislation (Fasang, 2010), discourse, and norms around the ‘right’ retirement ages (Jansen, 2018) as well as individual characteristics, such as gender, health, or education (Loretto and Vickerstaff, 2015). As Phillipson (2018) has argued, retirement has itself become a ‘contested’ institution in the 21st century, fragmented across different pathways and transitions, and older adults’ (in)ability to remain in the labour market has increasingly become framed as an individual responsibility.

Consequently, this Special Issue aims to assemble contributions that critically engage with recent developments in the transition from work to retirement. Critique, in this regard, can draw on three paradigmatic traditions: (1) structuralist (targeting socio-economic structures and powerful institutions), (2) symbolic (targeting discourse and power), and (3) culturalist (targeting social practices and subjectivities). Constructive, reconstructive, and deconstructive approaches are welcome. Topics may address new and emerging transitions, discourse about retiring, institutionalised and/or everyday ageism, practices of ‘doing’ retiring, as well as the role of social inequalities and intersectionalities (e.g., gender, age, class, ethnicity, and disability).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. More information can be found here:

Call for papers for Special issue "Age and Performance: Expanding Intersectionality” in Theatre Research in Canada / Recherches théâtrales au Canada

The special issue is guest edited by Benjamin Gillespie (Graduate Center, CUNY), Julia Henderson (University of British Columbia) and Núria Casado-Gual (University of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain).

As aging populations continue to expand rapidly, generating what Robert N. Butler has called the “longevity revolution,” cultural awareness is growing about the systemic cultural inequities restricting and repressing older people. The expanding field of humanities-based age studies has begun to explore how normative cultural expectations surrounding age (frequently translated into assumptions about how to “act one’s age”) not only pose limits on older people, but also condition perceptions (and prejudices) about all ages across the life course. In comparison to other aspects of identity such as gender, sexuality, race, or ability, age often remains ignored. In the words of age studies pioneer Margaret Morganroth Gullette, age is “entrenched in implicit systems of discrimination without adequate movements of resistance to oppose them” (15). Elinor Fuchs, one of the first scholars to explicitly incorporate an age-studies perspective in theatre research, contends that “the dividing line between youth and age is constantly elusive,” precisely because age, contrary to other markers of identity, is an overtly dynamic category based on two contradictory principles: change and continuity (70).

Scholars working within cultural age studies have started to address age as a point of intersection across many disciplines. However, as Valerie Barnes Lipscomb affirms, “theatre has lagged behind, focusing more on theatre projects with older people than on theorizing age” (193). This special issue seeks to understand theatre’s role in, and potential for, reinforcing and resisting ageism as well as the so-called narrative of decline that favours a negative view of old age (Gullette 2004). Expanding theatre and performance research to incorporate age-studies perspectives will illuminate the constructedness of age and increase our understanding of the diverse phenomenon of aging and its performative qualities. As Michael Mangan demonstrates in his monograph Staging Ageing: Theatre, Performance and the Narrative of Decline, many of the concerns shared by theatre scholars and artists, including issues of empathy or subjectivity in drama and performance, are inherently involved in perceiving age identity (though such perceptions often remain unconscious).

Foregrounding the intersections of theatre, performance, and cultural age studies, this will be the first journal special issue to focus specifically on the role of age in Canadian theatre and performance. The issue will explore age identities across the life course and investigate ageism and its resistance through questions of temporality, aesthetics, embodiment, difference, language, performance, and performativity.

Article submissions may engage with some of the following questions:
  • Following the work of Kathleen Woodward and Anne Davis Basting, how do performative renderings of aging and theatrical casting practices help us read the aging body on and off stage?
  • How do performances of gender, sexuality, race, and ability intersect with age performance and performativity?
  • In what ways do live theatre and performance challenge us to spectate age differently in relation to other cultural forms such as film?
  • How are stereotypical representations of aging overcome by the work of contemporary playwrights, theatre companies, directors, or actors?
  • What new understandings of age and across life course emerge out of theatre and performance practices?
Submissions of 300-word abstracts should be sent by March 1st 2020, by email to:, copied to the TRiC editorial office at

TRIC/RTAC is a bilingual journal, and we welcome submissions in both English and French. For detailed submission guidelines see:

Call for papers for the “Humanities, Arts and Cultural Gerontology” panel at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) 2020, 4-8 November, Philadelphia

Join us and the Humanities, Arts and Cultural Gerontology Panel @ GSA 2020 in Philly!!

The Humanities, Arts and Cultural Gerontology Advisory Panel of the Gerontological Society of America invites individual and symposium submission to the next GSA meeting in Philadelphia, themed "Turning 75: Why Aging Matters". Humanities and arts have had an ever-increasing profile at these meetings, the largest gerontology conference in the world with a very broad remit.

Abstract submission closes on 12 March 2020: ensure that you have marked it as relating to Humanities and Arts in the submission process to ensure Humanities and Arts reviewers!

More information can be found here:

Call for papers “An Aging Planet”

Jacob Jewusiak is seeking papers related to aging in a global context. Topics may include (but are not limited to) the relation of aging to globalization, migration, demographics, and climate change.

More information can be acquired from Jacob:

Projects by RC11 Members

c) Photo top left: Walther Vorjohann, Project BEWOHNT, Goethe-University Fankfurt am Main
(c) Photo top left: Walther Vorjohann, Project BEWOHNT, Goethe-University Fankfurt am Main

Perceived Housing and Life Transitions: Good Ageing-in Place (HoT Age)

Duration: 2020 – 2022

RC11 communications officer Anna Wanka is part of the HoT Age project, a cooperation between Lund University (Sweden) and Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany), funded by the Forte programme. The project, which is just getting started, aims to develop an understanding of the dynamic relationship between perceived housing and life transitions, and how this relationship impacts health, well-being, functioning, and social/neighbourhood participation along the process of ageing.

Housing has gained increased relevance as a central factor for health and well-being in ageing policies in Europe. Many countries have implemented ageing in place policies, which provide services focused on improving the physical environment or delivering care, but these policies tend to neglect the dynamic nature and heterogeneity of the ageing process. Housing needs change as people grow older, and experience different transitions across their life courses.

This mixed-methods project consists of three studies. The longitudinal Quantitative Study uses data from the Swedish National Study on Ageing and Care: Skåne. We will link data across 12 years to examine the relationship between perceived housing and life events and how they predict indicators of good ageing. The qualitative Study will validate these findings in focus groups in Sweden and Germany and identify other important aspects of perceived housing and life transitions. The Integration Study will synthesize results to build a deeper understanding of the phenomena identified and develop a theoretical model depicting the relationships between life transitions, perceived housing and indicators of good ageing along the process of ageing. Knowledge on such dynamics is a prerequisite to develop health promotion programs that proactively support housing decisions along the process of ageing and enable full participation in society.

More information can be found here:
Supporting digital literacy and appropriation of ICT by older people (ACCESS)

Supporting digital literacy and appropriation of ICT by older people (ACCESS)

Duration: 2018 – 2021

RC11 member Vera Gallistl is part of the international (Austria, Finland, Germany, Japan, Italy) and interdisciplinary ACESS project, funded by the More Years Better Lives Programme.

Digital media and new technologies can support older persons’ wellbeing and enrich their every-day lives. However, seniors face a multitude of obstacles and hindrances when taking on these modern technologies. ACCESS explores, implements and evaluates new modes of socially embedded learning opportunities for older persons with low technical skills in order to enable them to gain experiences and sustainable knowledge and skills regarding modern technology and find meaningful ways for its everyday use. To achieve this, different learning settings (i.e. formal and informal) will be examined and further developed in combination with different forms of learning (courses, senior-to-senior, negotiation spaces) as new learning opportunities. Furthermore, a stationary as well as a mobile demo kit of assistive technologies will be assembled accompanied by a training concept for learning providers and organisations to spark discourse and provide opportunities for improvement on the technological side.

More information can be found here:

Publications by RC11 Members

Books in English

Brossard, B. (2019). Forgetting Items - The Social Experience of Alzheimer's Disease. Indiana University Press.
Photo of the cover of Forgetting Items - The Social Experience of Alzheimer's Disease. Indiana University Press
Abstract: Alzheimer's disease has not only profound medical consequences for the individual experiencing it but a life-changing impact on those around them. From the moment a person is suspected to be suffering from Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, the interactions they encounter progressively change. Forgetting Items focuses on that social experience of Alzheimer's, delineating the ways disease symptoms manifest and are understood through the interactions between patients and the people around them. Mapping out those interactions takes readers through the offices of geriatricians, into patients' narratives and interviews with caregivers, down the corridors of nursing homes, and into the discourses shaping public policies and media coverage. Revealing the everyday experience of Alzheimer's helps us better understand the depth of its impact and points us toward more knowledgeable, holistic ways to help treat the disease.

Books in German

Walther, A.; Stauber, B.; Rieger-Ladich, M. & Wanka, A. (Eds). (2019). Reflexive Übergangsforschung Theoretische Grundlagen und methodologische Herausforderungen. Barbara Budrich.
Abstract: Übergänge im Lebenslauf sind nicht gegeben, sondern zeichnen sich dadurch aus, Resultate komplexer diskursiver, institutioneller sowie (inter-)subjektiver Herstellungs- und Gestaltungsprozesse zu sein. Dieser Einführungsband verhandelt die grundlegenden Konzepte und Perspektiven der reflexiven Übergangsforschung. Er eröffnet die Reihe Reflexive Übergangsforschung – Doing Transitions. Sie soll eine interdisziplinäre Plattform bieten für eine theoretische und empirische Verständigung zu Übergängen im Lebenslauf. Die Perspektive einer originären reflexiven Übergangsforschung wird aktuell in einem DFG-Graduiertenkolleg verfolgt, dessen Ergebnisse sukzessive in dieser Reihe publiziert werden sollen. Der Einführungsband stellt die folgenden theoretischen Grundlagen der reflexiven Übergangsforschung vor: den macht- und ungleichheitssensiblen Zugang der Herstellung von Unterschieden, den praxistheoretischen Blick auf Übergänge sowie subjektivierungstheoretische Überlegungen. Die Übergangsforschung soll aktuelle theoretische Debatten nicht ausklammern, sondern an sie anschließen. Traditionelle Vorläufer findet die reflexive Übergangsforschung in historischen, (kultur)anthropologischen, erziehungswissenschaftlichen und psychologischen Traditionslinien sowie in der Lebensverlaufsforschung. Auch die internationale Vergleichsperspektive der Übergangsregimes bietet einen weiteren methodologischen Zugang. Der Einführungsband diskutiert zum Abschluss die Erträge der reflexiven Übergangsforschung und gibt einen Ausblick.

Cover photo of Reflexive Übergangsforschung Theoretische Grundlagen und methodologische Herausforderungen

Book Chapters in English

Olaison, A; Torres, S. & Forssell, E. (2019). Professional discretion and length of work experience: what findings from focus groups with care managers in elder care suggest. In Taylor, B., & Whittaker, A. (Eds.) Professional Judgement and Decision Making in Social Work: Current Issues. London: Routledge

Abstract: Research has explored how care managers in elder care - who often function as ‘street-level bureaucrats’ - regard professional discretion. The way in which length of work experience affects care managers’ use of professional discretion remains, however, unexplored. This article presents findings from 12 focus groups with 60 care managers. By bringing attention to how care managers experience the needs assessment process, this article sheds light on how these ‘street-level bureaucrats’ struggle when they try to balance their clients’ needs against institutional frameworks and local guidelines. Length of work experience seems to play a role in how care managers claim to use professional discretion. Experienced care managers describe how they deviate from the guidelines at times in order to create an increased scope of action in their decision-making process. Those with less time in the profession describe greater difficulties in this respect. Findings suggest that research should explore if length of work experience plays a role in the actual way in which care managers assess needs and make decisions. As such, they contribute to our understanding of how needs assessment processes are navigated by professionals while also pointing toward the nature of professional discretion in gerontological social work.

Torres, S. (2019). Ethnicity, race and care: what can the social justice framework offer? In Westwood, S. (Ed.). Ageing, Diversity and Inequality: Social Justice Perspectives. Routledge.

Abstract: This chapter is a contribution to a book that aims to explore what Nancy Fraser’s social justice framework can offer research on aging, diversity and inequality. The chapter on ethnicity, race and care explores this very thing by surveying how the three conceptual pillars of Fraser’s framework (redistribution, representation and recognition) can be used to make sense of the fact that scholarship on ethnicity, race and old age that brings attention to health and social care is inequality-obsessed yet injustice-unaware. The chapter proposes ways to advance ethnogerontological ways of thinking about social justice.

Book chapters in Portuguese

Motta, A. B. (2019). Famílias de Centenários no Brasil: gênero e relações de família. Monteiro, L., & Paredes, M. (Eds.). Desde la niñez a la vejez: nuevos desafíos para la comprension de la sociologia de las edades. Teseo.

Abstract: Famílias multigeracionais, moldadas por fenômenos básicos da contemporaneidade, longevidade e reestruturação produtiva, abrigam personagens geracionais que são novos enquanto relações afetivo-sociais. Em primeiro lugar, os
centenários, figuras incomuns – diferentemente da imagem ainda preconceituosa vigente em relação aos idosos, são em maioria lúcidos e em boa ou razoável condição corporal. Entretanto, por maior que seja a sua vitalidade, demandam apoios – afetivos, como todos – mas também materiais, cotidianos. Os filhos enfeixam essa possibilidade de cuidado, porém geralmente esse lugar de apoio, segundo ditames tradicionais de gênero, é preenchido por uma filha, cumprindo o papel social clássico, feminino, de cuidadora. É a representante da geração pivô, ou intermediária – segunda grande personagem geracional nessa família; idosa ou madura, é apoio também das gerações mais jovens, filhos, netos e bisnetos. Apoio que se estende ao âmbito financeiro, demandado pelos que estão desempregados ou precariamente empregados. Abrangendo ainda os que vivem novos padrões de família, com as separações e retornos à casa, geralmente materna. Aí se encontram principalmente os jovens. É um panorama constituído basicamente por mulheres – que proponho analisar, com base em dados de pesquisa longitudinal realizada no estado da Bahia, Brasil.

Articles in English

Gallistl, V., & Nimrod, G. (2019). Media-Based Leisure and Wellbeing: A Study of Older Internet Users. Leisure Studies, 1-15.

Studies exploring digital technology in the context of leisure for older people tend to neglect their parallel use of traditional media. By simultaneous examination of both online and offline recreational media use, the present study explores media-based leisure repertoires and wellbeing among older Internet users. Data were collected via a survey of 10,527 Internet users aged 60 and up from seven countries (Austria, Canada, Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain). Analysis examined participants’ media use and differences among people with disparate use patterns. The study identified four groups of Internet users according to the media-based leisure activities they engaged in: innovative traditionalists, entertainment seekers, selective content consumers, and eclectic media users. The groups differed in their activity repertoires, background characteristics, and leisure preferences. Being an eclectic media user (i.e., relatively less selective) was significantly associated with lower life satisfaction. Results indicate an advantage to selectivity in media use for leisure and confirm that participation in certain activities may compensate somewhat for distressing conditions in old age. They also suggest diminished boundaries between offline and online leisure among older Internet users and call for further development of the functional approach to Internet use in later life.

Wanka, A. (2019). No time to waste – How the social practices of temporal organisation change in the transition from work to retirement. Time & Society, 0(0), 1-24.

Abstract: In contemporary societies, chronological age is widely used as a temporal basis for regulating and organising social processes. A strong system of chrononormativity provides orientation on, for example, the appropriate time range to start working, have children, or to retire. This contribution explores the multiple temporal organisations of the life course by focussing on the transition from work to retirement as the beginning of ‘old age’. It asks how people get to become ‘old’ through temporal normalities at two scales: first, the life course scale at which temporal normalities are institutionalised; and second, the everyday life scale at which temporal normalities are routinised; and how these two scales are mutually related. The paper is structured as follows: first, I outline the implications of a practice theory perspective on time and the temporal organisation of social practices across the life course; second, I discuss two concepts in order to grasp this temporal organisation, namely chrononormativity and norma-/temporality; third, I present empirical material on assessments of the ‘right’ timing to retire, the re-structuration of everyday time in the retirement transition, and the re-negotiation of ‘wasting time’ in retirement. Results suggest the assessment of certain practices as time ‘well spent’ or ‘wasted’. And it is exactly in this assessment that links chrononormativity to norma-/temporality in retirement: Based on an increased awareness of one’s location at the latter part of the life course, the question regarding how the (limited and decreasing) time left is spent gains a completely new significance and can, hence, become a strong marker of distinction. However, the ambivalence in participants’ account suggests a potential for ‘queering’ time and age as a set of practices that resist and destabilise temporal rhythms.

Hamilton, M and Suthersan, B (2020). Gendered moral rationalities in later life: grandparents balancing paid work and care of grandchildren in Australia. Ageing & Society (2020), 1–22. doi:10.1017/S0144686X19001855

Abstract: In recent years there has been increasing policy focus on keeping mature-age people engaged in the labour market. At the same time, grandparents play an important role as regular child-care providers for many families. Yet, little research has explored how grandparents negotiate these dual, often competing demands of paid employment and intergenerational care. Drawing on focus groups with 23 grandparents and an online survey of 209 grandparents providing regular child care for their grandchildren in Australia, this paper addresses this gap in the literature by examining how Australian grandparents experience and negotiate competing responsibilities as older workers and intergenerational care providers. The paper draws on the concept of gendered moral rationalities to examine the way in which grandparents’ decisions about participation in paid work are deeply embedded in idealised forms of parenting and grandparenting that are highly gendered. The paper suggests that, as the rate of both maternal and mature-age participation in the paid labour market continues to rise, inadequate attention is being paid to how time spent undertaking unpaid care is compressed, reorganised and redistributed across genders and generations as a result.

Willander, E; Bradby, H; Torres, S. & Jonsson, P. (2019). Conditions for religious pluralism in Swedish hospital chaplaincy: A research note. Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, 25(3): 99-109.
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Abstract: Research interest in hospital chaplaincy has increased, in part because it is believed to contribute to the development of just models of religious pluralism. This research note brings attention to hospital chaplaincy in Sweden, a country where religious diversity has substantially increased due to migration but where research in hospital chaplaincy is scarce. In order to advocate for future research, this research note describes the organization of hospital chaplaincy in Sweden, presents new analyses of official data showing its extent and religious composition, and proposes that the organization of hospital chaplaincy in this country needs to be re-considered now that religious diversity is a given. Showing that hospital chaplaincy in this country is still under the overbearing influence of Christianity, this research note argues that there is a need for research that sheds light on the asymmetrical power relations that exist and that paves the way for innovations in religious pluralist models for health care chaplaincy.

In Memorium

The Research Committee-11 of the International Sociological Society would like to pay hearty tribute to its very active Vice-President Professor Jacob John Kattakayam who passed away on 7th of December 2019, following a heart attack.

Prof. Kattakayam was Honorary Director at the Centre for Gerontological Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. He has served for decades several academic and administrative responsibilities like Director, UGC, Academic Staff College, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kerala and Emeritus Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Kerala. Prof. Kattakayam has served as Visiting Professor in many universities in the USA and Canada, and has delivered lectures in several universities in Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa and South America. He has authored and edited several books, chapter in books and dozens of national and international papers.

He has been member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (2005-08), Secretary of the Indian Sociological Society for two terms (2001-05). He was a Member of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse; GAROP Steering Group and also in the Board of Directors of International Rural Network (IRN) Canada. He has organized several National and International conferences.

His passing is a huge loss to academic world. We the members of RC-11, ISA will remain inspired by his work and will always treasure our memories of him. May his soul rest in peace and God give strength to his family members to bear the irreparable loss.

Date: 26 February 2020

Prof. A.K. Joshi
Department of Sociology
Banaras Hindu University
Varanasi-221005, India


Sandra Torres, Uppsala University, Sweden


Lucie Vidovićová, Masaryk University, Czech Republic


Esteban Calvo, Universidad Mayor, Chile


Myra Hamilton, University of New South Wales, Australia


Anna Wanka, University of Frankfurt, Germany


Debora Price, University of Manchester, UK
Candace L. Kemp, Georgia State University, USA
Arvind Kumar Joshi, BHU Varanasi, India
Ilkka Pietila, University of Helsinki, Finland
Luke Gahan, La Trobe University, Australia
Ito Peng, University of Toronto, Canada
Martin Hyde, Swansea University, Wales
Francesco Barbabella, Linnaeus University, Sweden
Wendy Martin, Brunel University, UK
Ignacio Madero-Cabib, University of Chile