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From the President

Dear RC-11 community members,

Since the season to be jolly is just around the corner as are the New Year celebrations that take place in the part of the world where I am based (i.e. Sweden), let me begin by saying that I hope that 2022 was a memorable year both professionally and personally! I have purposefully chosen the word memorable (rather that nice or good) because not everything we experience within the course of a year is positive. I am a firm believer, however, that if we try to draw
Photo of Sandra Torres
lessons from the challenges we face, then maybe, just maybe we have lived yet another memorable year (and that my dear colleagues is sometimes all that we can hope for).

A dear of friend of mine once asked what I thought was special about my field of research. My spontaneous answer to her question surprised me, and has become one of the anecdotes I use when teaching. I answered namely that one of the things that made my field rewarding was that – as a researcher of ageing - I constantly came across research results that were helpful in my own ageing. Thus, as a researcher of ageing (and ageing researcher 😉), I feel lucky to be a part of a research community that is constantly offering me inspiration for the journey that is life. This newsletter will hopefully offer inspiration to you (I know it has most certainly done so for me!). In it you will find not only new publications but also new projects and announcements for positions, conferences and special issues to name but a few.

This newsletter is in fact our new communication officer’s – Vera Gallistl - first newsletter so let us thank her for all of the information she was able to gather this time thanks to the content you sent her way. Your continued commitment to sharing information (and inspiration!) with our RC-11 community is the reason why we are able to keep you all on the loop of what is happening around the world. We take for granted that that there is more information that we could be sharing do keep an eye on the calls-for-content we send out via our social media platforms (and e-mail) twice a year so that you are able to share your publications, newly started research projects, special issue announcements etc. with ISA’s RC-11 ‘family’.

The past few months have been quite busy for everyone involved in the planning and coordination of ISA’s upcoming world congress, which will take place (in a hybrid-format) next summer (see more information in the first announcement in this newsletter). Thus, let me also say THANKS to RC-11’s secretary Myra Hamilton, and our former communications officer, Anna Wanka for processing all of the abstracts we received for the congress. Their efforts - as program coordinators for the RC-11 sessions that will be offered at the congress - have resulted in an exciting program so we all have a lot to look forward to in 2023 as far as sociological research on ageing is concerned (more on this at the bottom of this column 😉).

Something else that happens during the summer are the elections that take place for all committees that operate under the auspices of the Int’l. Sociological Association (ISA). This includes RC-11s elections. To this end it seems appropriate to remind everyone that the executive board for our research committee has been working for close to four years since the pandemic meant that the congress was postponed and with it the elections that take place every three years. Thus, when the elections take place this summer, we who have served in the executive board of RC-11, have done so for an extra year. In the upcoming months I will be, however, in touch with RC-11s past presidents and officers-at-large to set in motion the nomination process for next year’s elections.

It is perhaps worth mentioning that we are hoping that some innovation will happen as far as these elections go. Let me explain (and please bear with me since I will take a bit of a detour for the sake of all new members who are not familiar with how ISA works). ISA is a large organization which brings together not only close to 70 national organizations for sociology but also an array of research networks (also close to 70 of them which are called research committees, working groups and thematic groups depending on where in the process of formalizing their work they are at). Because ISA is one of the oldest social scientific organizations operating at a global level, it is not just sociologists that are members of the research networks that work under the auspices of this organization, there are also other scientists of ageing who are members of these research networks. In our RC, for example, we have members who are anthropologists, social workers and political scientists to name but a few. That is one of the reasons why our forums and congresses offer such stimulating discussions, and gives us glimpses into the exciting research that researchers of ageing around the globe are conducting.

A look at ISA’s homepage gives you an idea of how the governance structure looks like: International Sociological Association ( There is a lot that can be said about this but the main thing I would like to mention now is that there are four Vice Presidents within this governance structure, and one of them – known as the VP for Research (who happens to be has Geoffrey Pleyers | UCLouvain during this period) - convenes the work that is done in the research networks.
Besides these research committees (which are the most formalized network within the ISA research organization), there are also working groups and thematic groups. For a list of the array of specializations represented in these research networks, see ISA’s website.
Our research committee - RC-11 – is one of the 57 research committees that work under the auspices of ISA (a bit of ISA trivia for those who are new to our organization is that the number of an RC tells you how long they have been around 😉). As VP for Research, Geoffrey has convened several meetings a year in order to bring together the presidents of the research networks to discuss the array of ongoing decision-making-matters that are on ISA’s table so to speak (everything from membership fees, to conference planning, to the work that ISA does on human rights and equality and all sorts of things in between). Now, because ISA also brings together close to 70 national organizations in sociology through the work that the VP of national organizations does, it is not always easy to make decisions (and innovate!) within this organization. Navigating various points of views is always therefore a given when one serves the ISA community. In the group of presidents for research networks, we are at the moment trying to implement a digital system of voting for our upcoming elections. Whether or not this happens within the next few months remains to be seen but that is what we are trying to do, which means that RC-11’s nomination committee may end up delivering our nomination slate to ISA as opposed to just sharing it with our members as part of the election process that will take place at the 2023 World Congress. Needless to say, we will keep all of our members informed as these processes are set in motion. Thus, if you have not yet signed up as a formal member for ISA’s RC-11, please do so via this link: Sign up ISA user account ( since we communicate with our members through the e-mail lists that ISA makes available to us through their digital platforms. Our newsletter is, in other words, available through our homepage (Sociology of Aging), but a lot of what we do happens via our e-mail list platform and through our social media. Worth mentioning is also that the number of sessions on ageing we get at ISA conferences is contingent on the number of paid members we have so in order to actively contribute to RC-11’s community, you need to have signed up as an ISA member first, and then pay the small fee associated with joining RC-11 (which ranges between 20 to 40 USD depending on the country you are based at).

Irrespective of what the next couple of months will hold, the executive committee of RC-11 will be busy with the elections, the ISA grants that we award as well as all of the planning that takes place behind the scenes for the upcoming congress. Thus, although all of you that submitted abstracts to the RC-11 sessions have now received notification about this, ISA’s has until late January/ early February to finalize the actual program for the entire congress. This means that although there is already a lot of information on ISA’s homepage about the numerous activities which will be offered at the congress, the sessions that are organized by research networks are not yet listed in the program. Keep therefore an eye on the following link to find more information about all of the exciting research on ageing that will be presented at the: XX ISA World Congress of Sociology (, and to register for the conference as well in due course.

Needless to say, we look forward to meeting you either IRL or digitally at the congress but before then, let me wrap this one up by wishing you - on behalf of RC-11s executive board - a prosperous and healthy 2023!

Warm regards,
Sandra Torres in the capacity of President for ISA’s RC-11

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

News from the International Sociological Association

ISA World Congress of Sociology logo

The XX ISA World Congress of Sociology, Melbourne / Australia, June 25 - July 1 2023

Five years after the last in-person meeting in Toronto (2018), ISA members will be eager to meet each other again and enjoy the meaningful exchanges that take place in a world congress. The topic of next years’ ISA conference is “Resurgent Authoritarianism: The Sociology of New Entanglements of Religions, Politics, and Economies“. Sari Hanfi, President of the International Sociological Association, summarized the conference topic:

The global rise of authoritarianism, as well as populism, xenophobia, and racism, makes our task as sociologists more crucial than ever. This dilemma is assisted by the gradual symbolic thickening of public culture through combinations of extreme nationalist and religious fervor. What is the best way to analyze global resurgent authoritarianism? In addition to dealing with the scars of the colonial era, a postcolonial approach should be supplemented with another approach; we need to find ways to diagnose and resist this resurgence. This approach should take into account how authoritarianism affects not only our societies, but also our knowledge production. The self-centered and unspoken have become more important than the told and argued. We are concerned not only with the hard authoritarianism that heralds the brutalization of society and politics, but also the soft authoritarianism that often thrives in the shadow of neoliberalism, as the state moves deftly in the open or in secret to devise modes of governance that shore up its power against popular discontent.

A special interest of our Congress is how to disaggregate the Western, but also sociological, assumption of secularism as inherent in modern society and at the same time analytically dissociate the state from religion. While this separation is still a crucial pathway toward democracy and citizenship, the process needs to be problematized. We particularly look forward to discussing the promising avenues of inquiry within sociology and related disciplines about what have been termed ‘post-secular societies’ and ‘multiple secularities’.

Thus the XX ISA World Congress of Sociology will focus on how sociologists worldwide can (and do) contribute to the understanding of the resurgent authoritarianism and analyze the new entanglements of religions, politics, and economies. It will also focus on how sociologists engage (physically and critically) in the formidable social movements we are witnessing today in different parts of the world and in a renascent civil society.

ISA World Congress will take place in a hybrid form!

The XX ISA World Congress of Sociology in Melbourne, Australia, June 25-July 1, 2023 will be in a hybrid format. While we strongly advise and encourage everyone to come to Melbourne and enjoy in-person participation in the Congress, on-line presentations will also be possible. Oral sessions will be a mix of in-person and virtual presenters, based on the presenters preference. For further details see:

Information on Applications for Registration Grants

ISA members in good standing, active participants in the program, are eligible to apply for a registration grant. Applications should be sent to the RC/WG/TG Program Coordinators by January 31, 2023. Find more info here:

ISA Bursary also seeks to support the attendance of higher degree research students (HDR) and early career researchers (ECR) from countries in the Asia-Pacific Region at the 2023 International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress. There are five TASA bursaries available. The successful applicants will receive AUD$1,000 to support their attendance at the 2023 ISA World Congress of Sociology. Applications close on January 16th, 2023! Find more info here:


The registration is now OPEN! Make sure to sign up until March 22nd, 2023!
Find it here:

All programme participants (paper givers, session organizers, chairs, discussants, etc.) must pay a full registration fee before March 22, 2023. For a co-authored paper, at least one co-author must pay the congress registration fee by the deadline March 22, 2023.

The twitter handle for the event is #isawcs23

New members in the ISA RC11 Sociology of Ageing

We want to welcome our new members in the RC11 in this section of the newsletter. Stuti Das, a PhD student, took the chance to introduce herself and her work to the RC11 network. Welcome! 🙂
"I am a fifth-year PhD candidate in Sociology at Boston University. My (mostly quantitative) research lies at the intersection of aging, immigration, population health, and health policy. Using nationally representative longitudinal datasets from USA, UK, and Germany, my dissertation examines how healthcare systems interact with welfare regimes in order to shape native-immigrant health disparities in later life. My advisors are Deborah Carr, Nazli Kibria, and Joseph Harris. Prior to this, I earned my M.Phil. and M.A. in Sociology from the University of Hyderabad, India." Stuti Das

Call for positions (as sent to us by members)

Master’s programme “Ageing and Social Chance” at Linköping University, Sweden

A master’s programme ‘Ageing and Social Change’ at Linköping University is open for the applications!

Ageing and Social Change
A new international master's programme
at Linköping University, Sweden

The global population is getting older. What are the challenges and the possibilities that come with this? How can we create sustainable societies and ensure the wellbeing of an ageing population? These are the questions at the heart of Linköping University’s new international master's programme in Ageing and Social Change.

This is a two-year programme with a possibility for a one-year track. All teaching is done in English. Students choose to study on campus or online with a few weeks per year spent at Linköping University.

Students from various backgrounds are welcome to apply for admission. For more information on our admission requirements, application and admission process, our scholarships as well as further details about our programme:

Application deadline
16 January 2023 – first admission round
28 February 2023 – additional admission round

Tuition fees
Studies are free of charge for students from the EU, the EEA and Switzerland.
Tuition fees of SEK 160 000 apply to students from outside the EU, the EEA and Switzerland.

If you have any questions, we'll be very happy to help!
Contact: Indre Genelyte,, Programme Director

Spread the word
Share the page link and our brochure attached in this e-mail.

Professor in Ageing and Social Change at Linköping University, Sweden

The Division Ageing and Social Change (ASC,, Department of Culture and Society (IKOS), at Linköping University, Sweden, is seeking to recruit to the following position:

Professor in Ageing and Social Change. Application deadline: January 25th, 2023. Informal enquiries may be made to Andreas Motel-Klingebiel ( For further details about the advertised positions and the application form see

Pre-doctoral position in the project at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

A pre-doctoral position is available at Goethe University Frankfurt from 1.3.2023 for our international collaborative project Researching the transnational organisation of senior care, labour and mobility in Central and Eastern Europe ( funded by Volkswagen Foundation:
  • Research fellow 75% FTE (30 hours per week)
  • Salary according to T-V-GU E13
  • 4 years
We are looking for someone with Polish and English-language skills, knowledge of German is an advantage but not required.

The application deadline is 20 December 2022.

Please address any queries to Dr. Ewa Palenga-Möllenbeck,

For more details see:

Pre-doctoral position at University of Applied Sciences Krems, Austria

The project aims to explore the concept of occupational balance in informal caregivers of persons after stroke. In collaboration with the renowned Karolinska Institute and a local business partner, we intend to develop interventions targeting the promotion of informal caregivers’ occupational balance, employing participatory research methods.
Successful candidates will be working on the following tasks:
  • Independent project management
  • Controlling of the project progress
  • Coordination and communication with project partners
  • Reporting and collaboration on publications in the subject area
  • Organization and execution of empirical studies, as well as data analysis
  • Collaboration in the preparation of research grants
  • Completed university studies (master's degree or PhD)
  • Background in nursing sciences, occupational therapy, sociology, psychology or comparable social sciences
  • Knowledge and experience in conducting scholarly projects and/or practice projects with public funding agencies and project partners
  • Expertise in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods
  • Basic knowledge in statistical and qualitative data analysis
  • Experience in validation of questionnaires advantageous
  • Experience in the preparation of publications is an advantage
  • Very good MS Office skills (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Outlook)
  • Very good German and excellent English (min. C1) in spoken & written form
IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems is not subject to a collective agreement.
For this position we offer an annual gross salary of Euro 35.000 on a full-time basis (40 hours per week - part-time min. 30 hours per week is also possible) and with a master degree.
Depending on professional qualifications and experience, there is a willingness to overpay.
The position is temporary until 31.01.2026.

Research Associate / Senior Research Associate in Health Economics at the University of Bristol, UK

This post offers an excellent opportunity for an enthusiastic researcher with some expertise, experience and/or knowledge in economics, health economics and/or related social science or health disciplines. The post-holder will be situated in Health Economics at Bristol (HEB) within Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, but will also work closely with colleagues at the School of Education in the University of Bristol.

What will you be doing? This post will entail working on elements from two funded studies. The first study will involve analysis from a Wellcome funded Investigator Award (Principal Investigator: Joanna Coast) using the ICECAP capability wellbeing measures (, including validation and valuation work for the new ICECAP measures for children and young people. The second study will involve data collection and analysis for the ESRC funded Healthy Aging Challenge project: Connecting Through Culture As We Age: Digital Innovation for Healthy Ageing ( (Principal Investigator: Helen Manchester). The ICECAP-O alongside a range of other measures will be collected in this project to evaluate new products that have been developed through this project to improve social connectivity, wellbeing and quality of life.

You should apply if: The post is open to researchers with some expertise and/or experience in economics, health economics and/or social science disciplines. Applicants will require good communication skills, as they will be required to collect data with older people, and good analytical skills. Funding is available at Senior Research Associate (grade J)/Research Associate (grade I) level until the end of February 2024 in the first instance.

Interviews are expected to take place on or around Monday 16th January.

Additional information
  • Contract type: Open ended with funding until 29/02/2024
  • Work pattern: Full time / 1FTE
  • Grade: I or J / Pathway 2
  • Salary: I: £35,333 - £39,745 per annum / J: £39,745-£44,737 per annum
  • School/Unit: Bristol Medical School
  • Shift pattern: 35 hours a week - flexible
  • This advert will close at 23:59 GMT on 04/01/2023
For informal enquiries please contact Paul Mitchell:

Find more info here:

Call for abstracts (as sent to us by members)

Call for Papers for a Special Issue on "Social Determinants, Behavioral and Lifestyle Choices, and Health Disparities of Older Adults"

This is a special issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section “Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion”. Find more info here:

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,
The biggest contributor to the increased prevalence of chronic conditions in the United States of America (USA) is population aging, where people with chronic conditions use more healthcare and have higher risks of taking multiple medications, disability, and mortality. Chronic health conditions are defined as those conditions that last a year or more and require ongoing medical attention and/or limit activities of daily living. The number of adults with multiple chronic conditions, e.g., asthma, arthritis, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, type II diabetes, heart disease, obesity, kidney disease, stroke, cognitive and physical functioning difficulties, is growing not only in the USA, but worldwide.
A disproportionate burden of chronic conditions exists among racial and ethnic minorities, lower socioeconomic status adults, and older adults. Pervasive racial and ethnic disparities in chronic conditions exist in the USA and other countries. Racial and ethnic minorities are likely to develop chronic conditions earlier in life, live with a higher number of chronic conditions, and are at greater risk of dying from their chronic conditions than white adults. However, we know less about the pathways or mechanisms connecting race and ethnicity to multiple chronic conditions, longitudinal research on managing these conditions, or population-level interventions to address racial and ethnic disparities in chronic conditions. We encourage empirical research on race or ethnicity and chronic conditions, in the USA or internationally, using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods which speak to the following (not exhaustive or limiting) list of topics:
  • Incorporating the social determinants of health with biomedical frameworks.
  • Examining pathways linking individual, interpersonal, and/or structural determinants to chronic conditions.
  • Intersectionality of race or ethnicity with age, gender, socioeconomic status, place, sexuality, etc., as part of existing pathways influencing chronic conditions.
  • The prevalence of multiple chronic conditions or comorbidity and people’s experiences managing them (i.e., self-care and medical care).
  • Family health history influencing health behaviors related to chronic conditions.
  • Health information seeking and use behaviors related to chronic conditions.
  • Current or future health care workforce needs to provide the best care for patients with chronic conditions.
  • Creating prevention, intervention, and/or policy solutions to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in chronic conditions.
  • Long-term effects of COVID-19, particularly among older adults .
Authors are invited to submit abstracts related to the topic areas described above. The guest editors will review all abstracts to assess for topic appropriateness and scientific rigor. Authors of high-scoring abstracts will be invited to submit a complete manuscript for anonymous peer review by the guest editors and additional peer reviewers. Please submit a 400-word structured abstract for initial review.

Dr. Cassandra D. Ford
Dr. Ronica N. Rooks
Dr. Arlesia L. Mathis
Guest Editors


The special issue is now open for submission. The deadline for manuscript submissions is 30 April 2023. If anyone is interested in either special issue, please visit the websites and/or reach out to the editors

New projects by RC11 members (as sent to by members)

The Social Production of Space and Age (SPAGE) A French-German Dialogue towards New Theoretical Approaches and Research Pathways

Dr. Anna Wanka, Dr. Anamaria Depner, Alia Zentel B.A., Goethe University Frankfurt / Main & Prof. Dr. Thibauld Moulaert, Dr. Marion Scheider-Yilmaz., University of Grenoble-Alpes.

Theories, concepts and empirical data can travel between different linguistic and societal spheres. How theories of space enrich ageing and how, in turn, the analyses of the space of ageing can contribute to the questions of general sociology, has been approached from different angles in France and in Germany in the past.

The SPAGE project proposes a systematic theoretical comparison of the interplay between age, space, and social exclusion in France and Germany, resulting in a comprehensive theoretical framework (objective 1). In a second step, we will empirically test the framework for potential societal differences and similarities between the two countries, aiming to use their synergy effect (objective 2) in order to create a sustainable research network based on new theoretical approaches and epistemological pathways between Goethe University Frankfurt am Main and the Université de Grenoble Alpes (objective 3).

Related to these three objectives, we start a French-German conceptual dialogue aimed at facilitating the exchange of theories, concepts and epistemological pathways used in French and German research on age, space, and social exclusion. On that basis, we formulate a joint framework. Here, a systematic empirical comparison of the interplay between age, space, and social exclusion in France and Germany leads to a specification of the framework. This second objective is twofold: as a first step, we will compare ongoing research carried out in both countries. SPAGE wants to challenge the dominant representations of age, such as “age-friendliness”, “active ageing” or “healthy ageing”. By creating a research network on age, space and exclusion through the link between the original research team of both principal investigators, SPAGE would bring forward the multiplicity of age-diversity and age practices (older adults with a disability or mobility restrictions/age and gender/age and lifespan/ migratory experiences/etc.) in the ‘doing’ of space.

AgeingAlgos - Expanding the Gerontological Imagination of Ageing with Algorithms

Dr. Vera Gallistl, Katrin Lehner, MA, (Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences, Krems) Dr. Unmil Karadkar, Prof. Ulla Kriebernegg (University of Graz).

In datafied societies, algorithms and its capacities to analyze data are somewhat of a modern myth. On the one hand, they are depicted as omnipotent entities that govern our lives through the automated analysis of big data sets, on the other hand, as vulnerable and instable systems that make wrong decisions or (re)produce bias through flawed data (Ziewitz, 2015). In gerontology and age studies, the interest in algorithms is fueled by enthusiasm about their transformative potential and hopes to increase care giver productivity and efficiency, as well as care safety and autonomy through automated decision making (Lenouvel et al. 2020; Rantz et al. 2015). Critical age studies literature has, however, also identified blind spots in the current discourse on ageing and algorithms and has, e.g., highlighted that the language and concepts used around algorithmic technologies often promise more than can be delivered by these technologies (Lenouvel et al. 2020), that a discourse on age-discrimination and age-bias in big data that feed algorithms is currently missing (Stypinska 2021; 2022) and that the perspectives of older adults on algorithmic decision-making and the collection of big data are only rarely discussed (Chu et al. 2022).

The project has two aims: First, it aims to explore the epistemological claims that accompany discussions around algorithms and big data in the field of age studies and gerontology. Second, it aims to re-image ageing with and through algorithms through participatory research with older adults. Drawing on an understanding of algorithms as “stories that help people deal with contradictions in social life that can never be fully resolved” (Mosco 2005), the project asks how the figure of the algorithm is employed in the current discourse in age studies and gerontology, how it has come to matter in this particular field of research, and how stories about algorithms can be imagined otherwise through creative storytelling and co-design with older adults. The project poses the following research questions:
  • What characterizes the scientific engagement with algorithms in gerontology and age studies so far? Which epistemological claims accompany the current discourse on algorithms and big data in age studies and gerontology?
  • What are current blind-spots in the current discourse on algorithms in gerontology and age studies?
  • How can algorithmic ageing be imagined otherwise? How can an alternative imagination of algorithmic ageing be developed through participatory research with older adults?
To answer these questions, the project takes two methodological steps. First, it conducts a structured literature review in four international journals for gerontology and age studies, asking how the figure of the algorithm and big data has been discussed in gerontological literature so far. Through qualitative mapping and counter-mapping (Hepp et al. 2022), the project then identifies current blind-spots in the gerontological discourse on algorithms. In a second step, the project aims to develop alternative imaginaries of algorithmic ageing together with older adults. In two participatory workshops with older adults (65+ community-dwelling adults, living in Austria), the project presents and discusses the results of the conducted literature and, through co-design methods and creative story-telling, aims to develop an alternative imagination of ageing with and through algorithms together with older workshop participants.

Annoucements of conferences, workshops and events

Call for bids for hosting the V ISA Forum of Sociology 2025

The Executive Committee of the International Sociological Association (ISA) invites all ISA collective members to make a bid for the site of the V ISA Forum of Sociology to be held in 2025. The bids should be submitted by March 1, 2023.

Offers to host a Forum of Sociology should be extended by national sociological associations, in order to ensure that there is an active sociological community in the host country that is formally committed to organizing the Forum. While first initiatives may obviously emanate from other institutions (universities or sociology departments, national tourist organizations, airlines, congress centers, professional congress organizers), these initiatives will only be seriously considered by the ISA Executive Committee if fully backed by the national sociological association concerned.The conference venue must be available for 4 days, preferably during the months July-August 2025.

The ISA Forum of Sociology

The ISA Forum is an international conference designed primarily as a meeting place for over 60 ISA Research Committees, Working Groups, and Thematic Groups. Aiming to provide an array of opportunities for the promotion of global dialogue about transformative change, it focuses on a socially relevant theme, involving public actors, to which different areas of sociology can contribute. Examples of such themes include environmental issues, human rights, welfare, social justice, inequality, and democratic participation.

The first ISA Forum was held in Barcelona, Spain (2008), the second in Buenos Aires, Argentina (2002), the third in Vienna, Austria (2016), while the fourth originally planned in Porto Alegre, Brazil was held on-line, attracting over 3,500 participants. The ISA will be organising its fifth Forum of Sociology in 2025. The ISA aims for geographic diversity when selecting the locations of its events in order to reflect its global membership. The ISA is looking for a university venue for an in-person meeting with the possibility of a hybrid format.

Conference Requirements

Venue Requirements
Facilities for 3,500 or more participants in attendance must be available for free, or at a minimal cost, and must include:
  • Plenary hall for at least 2,000 attendees
  • 3 rooms for 300 attendees (simultaneous semi-plenary sessions)
  • 65 rooms for simultaneous sessions by Research Committees:
    • 6 rooms for 250 attendees
    • 6 rooms for 200 attendees
    • 15 rooms for 150 attendees
    • 14 rooms for 100 attendees
    • 12 rooms for 75 attendees
    • 12 rooms for 60 attendees
  • Book exhibition space for approx. 30 book sellers
  • Luncheon facilities on the conference site or in restaurants within walking distance that could serve 2,000 persons within two hours
  • At the conference site, or in very close proximity, the following services must be available: banking, postal and public copy facilities, travel agency and medical services
Technical Equipment Requirements
  • Wi-Fi at the conference site
  • Audio-visual equipment in all session rooms: computer with PowerPoint, possibility of a hybrid format
  • Availability of other equipment: internet connection, video player, slide projector, overhead projector, projection screen, white/blackboard or flip charts, microphone system (if needed)
  • Office facilities for ISA Secretariat staffed by 5 persons: computer, printer, copying machine, internet connection
Hotel Facility Requirements
  • Efficient and reliable hotel-booking system
  • Total room capacity in the city of more than 4,000 rooms
  • Hotels of different categories:
    • 40% two star hotels
    • 50% three star hotels
    • 10% four star hotels
  • Availability of medium and low-cost accommodations (including student dormitories) for at least 2,000 persons
  • A distance between conference venue and hotels of no more than 10 minutes by public transport or 20 minutes on foot
International Transport
  • An international airport, with regular, direct connection to all main airports worldwide, must be located close to the host city.
  • A possibility of airline discount offers

Local Organising Committee

The Local Organising Committee must be committed to assist in the organisation of the following aspects of the conference:
  • Design of conference poster and logo
  • Organization of sessions on national sociology / social issues in cooperation with the ISA Program Committee
  • Opening Ceremony and Reception
  • Social programme, for example conference party and/or other cultural events
  • Address problems regarding visa for participants coming from many different countries
  • Responsibility for the tasks associated with ensuring that the conference runs smoothly, including at least: establishing media relations, developing regional contacts, encouraging participation in the conference, mobilizing volunteers
  • Rent of the conference venue(s), including for book exhibition and social events
  • Preparation and handling of sightseeing tours
  • On-line booking of hotel accommodation for participants
  • Production of paraphernalia (t-shirts, logos, souvenirs, etc.) for sale at the conference (optional)

Conference Costs

The following financial aspects should be taken into consideration when preparing a bid. Please clearly specify the costs for each point.
  • Conference facilities: rent and cleaning; technical equipment and support; signs and decoration; internet connection, Wi-Fi, exhibition space; registration area
  • Medical and child-care services; special arrangements for disabled participants
  • Streaming with subtitles in English/French/Spanish of Plenary Sessions (provide cost per 2-hour session)
  • Conference materials: design of conference poster and logo; conference bag (including local information, maps)
  • Social events: Opening Ceremony and Reception; tourism programs
  • Exhibition handling expenses
  • Cost of a Professional Conference Organizer company selected for the event
  • A list of approximate air fares from representative sites across the globe, including the discounts that might be secured by the national or other airlines
The bidder shall demonstrate its ability to assume advance costs (from its own funds or from subsidies it shall obtain locally) for the conference on the following basis:
  • The ISA handles all pre-registrations as well as on-the-spot registrations during the conference days. The ISA shall set registration fees.
  • ISA Program Committee assumes responsibility for preparing the scientific program, together with the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) composed of representatives of the local sociological association(s).
  • The LOC shall seek funds to help meet the travel expenses of conference paper-givers coming from the less developed countries.
  • The surplus from receipts of the conference shall be divided 80-20 between the ISA and the LOC.

Deadline for Bids

Bids, including all information requested in this call, should be received by the ISA Secretariat (see contact information below) no later than March 1, 2023.

International Sociological Association
Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology
University Complutense
Campus de Somosaguas
28223 Madrid, Spain

New publications by RC11 members (as sent to us by members)

Books in English

social policy in china book cover
Weizhen Dong (Editor): Social Policy in China: From State-Led to Market-Led Economy. Rock's Mills Press. ISBN-10: 1772441651, ISBN-13: 978-1772441659

This unique volume provides a comprehensive overview of social policies in China and their evolution over the 70 years since the People's Republic of China was established in 1949. Particular attention is paid to changes in social policies since the era of "opening up" and economic reform began in the late 1970s. Individual chapters are written by experts in their fields. Weizhen Dong, professor of sociology at the University of Waterloo, has edited the volume, as well as authoring or co-authoring a number of chapters.
Topics covered include family planning policy, including the history of the "one child policy"; population mobility and migration policy; the hukou system and rural migrants' assimilation; healthcare; elder care; housing policy; education policy; and employment and income policies. As the editor notes in the preface: "This book is for those who are keen to understand China—students, scholars, entrepreneurs, government officials, businessmen, or an individual with a curious mind. I hope this volume can serve as a bridge between our readers and China. Our readers will find that although China is old—a country with thousands of years of history and cultural heritage—China is also actually quite young: the People’s Republic of China is just approaching its seventieth anniversary. In the past 69 years, there are lessons to be learned, there are successes to be celebrated, and there are also a lot of 'growing pains'. At a time when China is becoming more visible in world affairs, this book serves the purpose of addressing global curiosity about China, answering questions such as: What kind of socioeconomic system does China have? What are the main social welfare benefits the Chinese people enjoy? What are the main social issues facing China and the Chinese people? Is China a communist country? The current climate makes understanding among different countries and peoples more important than ever before."

Books in German

Bildung in der nachberuflichen Lebensphase book cover
Franz Kolland, Anita Brünner, Julia Müllegger, Vera Gallistl (Editors): Bildung in der nachberuflichen Lebensphase. Ein Handbuch. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. ISBN: 978-3-040772-5

Bildung im Alter stellt eine wichtige Grundlage für die Gestaltung der nachberuflichen Lebensphase dar. Sie ist eine Voraussetzung für aktives und erfolgreiches Altern, soziale Teilhabe und Selbstbestimmung im Alter. In den letzten Jahrzehnten hat sich zu diesem Themenfeld ein vielfältiges und dynamisches Praxis- und Forschungsgebiet entwickelt. Dieses Handbuch stellt die unterschiedlichen
Forschungsstränge und Praxiskonzepte zur Bildung im Alter im Zusammenhang dar und präsentiert sich dadurch als systematisches Nachschlagewerk für die theoretische und praktische Beschäftigung mit Fragen der Bildung im Alter.

Learning in later life is an important facilitator for shaping life after retirement. It is a prerequisite for active and successful aging, social participation and self-determination in old age. In recent decades, a diverse and dynamic field of practice and research has developed on this topic. This handbook presents the different research strands and practical concepts on education in old age in context and thus presents itself as a systematic reference work for the theoretical and practical engagement with questions of education in old age.

Media appearances and pieces

Fred Flechter: Entering the next chapter: the value of university retiree associations. Piece in “University Affairs”, 2022.

Read the piece in English here:

Or in French here:

If you wish further information about it, please get in touch

Articles in English

Akram, O. and Maîtrot, M. (2022). Family's Roles as a Welfare Pillar: The Case of Older Persons Living in Extreme Poverty in Bangladesh. Dev Policy Rev. Accepted Author Manuscript e12679.

Motivation: Many mainstream welfare theories developed by social scientists and applied by economists and policymakers underestimate families’ roles in providing welfare to citizens. This is surprising given that the family constitutes one of the main welfare pillars across typologies of the welfare state.

Purpose: This article seeks to explore the role of the family as a welfare pillar with an ageing perspective. We aimed to test whether the family serves as a space for negotiations to improve wellbeing and achieve security in the absence of effective formal mechanisms.
Methods and approach: Applying the framework of “informal security regimes” (Wood, 2004), this article draws on 37 life history interviews collected from older persons living in extreme poverty in Bangladesh. Recurring themes are identified and analysed to explore the relationship between family and wellbeing/security.

Findings: We find that family relationships are often central in the pursuit of security. This shows how welfare delivery in low- and middle-income countries (L&MICs), in this case Bangladesh, is deeply rooted in reciprocal family systems where all members actively fulfil moral and material expectations. Pursuing this collective goal can take different forms relative to each member's physical and mental capacity, position, gender, and age. Building on the empirical evidence, we propose the concept of “relational security” as a crucial marker and shaper of wellbeing.

Policy implications: To be effective, welfare policies need to better consider how the conception and experiences of wellbeing and security, especially for the older persons living in extreme poverty, are deeply embedded within the complex functioning of the relationships that can shape welfare outcomes in different directions.

Cui, S., Yu, Y., Dong, W., Xu, T., Huang, Y., Zhang, X., & Chen, C. (2021). Are there gender differences in the trajectories of self-rated health among Chinese older adults? an analysis of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS). BMC geriatrics, 21(1), 1-11.

Background: Self-rated health (SRH) is a good predictor of morbidity and mortality. Extensive research has shown that females generally report poorer SRH than males but still tend to live longer. Previous studies used cross-sectional or pooled data for their analyses while ignoring the dynamic changes in males’ and females’ SRH statuses over time. Furthermore, longitudinal studies, especially those that focus on older adults, typically suffer from the incompleteness of data. As such, the effect of dropout data on the trajectories of SRH is still unknown. Our objective is to examine whether there are any gender differences in the trajectories of SRH statuses in Chinese older adults.

Methods: The trajectories of SRH were estimated using the pattern-mixture model (PMM), a special latent growth model, under non-ignorable dropout data assumption. We analyzed the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) data of 15,613 older adults aged 65 years and above, collected from 2005 to 2014.

Results: The results demonstrated the effect of non-ignorable dropout data assumptions in this study. The previous SRH score was negatively associated with the likelihood of dropping out of the study at the next follow-up survey. Our results showed that both males and females in China perceive their SRH as decreasing over time. A significant gender difference was found in the average SRH score (female SRH was lower than male SRH) in this study. Nonetheless, based on the results obtained using the PMM, there are no gender differences in the trajectories of SRH at baseline as well as in the rate of decline among the total sample. The results also show that males and females respond to SRH predictors similarly, except that current drinking has a more pronounced positive effect on males and healthcare accessibility has a more pronounced positive effect on females.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that missing data have an impact on the trajectory of SRH among Chinese older adults. Under the non-ignorable dropout data assumptions, no gender differences were found in trajectories of SRH among Chinese older adults. Males and females respond to SRH predictors similarly, except for current drinking habit and healthcare accessibility.

Dong, W. (2022). Adult Day Programs in the New Reality of High Prevalence of Dementia-with A Toronto Case Study. European Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, 4(1), 27-34.

Objectives: Adult Day Programs (ADPs) have been playing an important role providing services to community dwelling elders and their families in health-related prevention, intervention, and family caregiver support. At the time when there is a high prevalence of dementia among older elders, demand for such services will grow. Learn the experiences of ADPs can help identifying service gaps, which are crucial for developing measures to improve such programs’ effectiveness.

Methods: This is a case study on the ADPs at the Toronto Geriatric Centre with qualitative research strategy. Interviews and focus group discussions were the data collection methods employed to gather feedbacks from its staff members, clients, and family caregivers.

Results: The ADPs at the TGC are helpful to their clients and their families, but have issues in language accessibility, physical accessibility (programs’ schedule and transportation), financial accessibility (affordability), and care accessibility-there is a lack of professional caregivers for those participants who need onsite care.

Discussion: The high prevalence of dementia among ADPs’ clients and the resource shortage are the main difficulties facing the TGC. If it was to achieve its intended goal, more resources are needed for their improvements in accessibility, which would involve a user-friendly operation schedule, free or minor-cost transportation, and sufficient program staffing that include professional caregivers. Covid-19 pandemic poses challenges to the entire eldercare sector. ADPs’ post-pandemic arrangements should address emerging needs of the elders they serve. Community elders, especially those persons with dementia, and their families need ADPs for aging at home.

Dong, W. (2022). Informal Caregiving and Its Hidden Cost to National Economy - With a Toronto Case Study. European Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, 4(1), 15-23.

More than eight million Canadians are providing care for their aging family members, relatives, neighbours, or friends. Due to staff shortage, eldercare facilities are also relying on their residents’ families to fill the gap of the care needs. Caregiving responsibilities have forced many employees to take time-off from work or take early retirement, which is a heavy loss of productivity of Canada’s national economy. This study employed a mixed method strategy, and with both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods: interview, focus group discussion, and a questionnaire survey. It shows that Canadians must take time off from work or to leave jobs for providing care to their loved ones, even when they are residing in a long-term care setting. This seemingly private matter is a very public one in the other side of the coin: family caregivers’ lost time in employment is affecting Canada’s national economy significantly. Government should work with stakeholders to develop a national strategy to tackle the issue. COVID-19 outbreak has revealed long-term care institutions’ struggle with severe staff shortage in Canada.

Eriksson, E., Wazinski, K., Wanka, A., Kylén, M., Oswald, F., Slaug, B., ... & Schmidt, S. M. (2022). Perceived Housing in Relation to Retirement and Relocation: A Qualitative Interview Study among Older Adults. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(20), 13314.

As people age the home environment becomes increasingly important. Retirement commonly leads to spending more time in one’s home, and relocating from your own home in older age could be associated with reduced health or wellbeing. The relationship between home and person is complex and perceived aspects of one’s housing such as social, emotional and cognitive ties are considered important factors for health and wellbeing. However, little is known about how perceived aspects of the home change in relation to retirement and relocation. This paper used Situational Analysis to explore, via situational mapping, how community dwelling older adults (aged 60–75) perceived their housing situation in relation to retirement and relocation. The results suggest complex relations between relocation/retirement and perceived housing, and between different aspects of perceived housing. Furthermore, the results suggest that the relationship between life transitions and perceived housing can be seen as bi-directional, where different life transitions affect aspects of perceived housing, and that perceived housing affects (decisions for) relocation. The results suggest complex relations between retirement and relocation, as well as other life transitions, and perceived aspects of one’s housing. It is important to consider these interactions to understand factors that affect health and wellbeing in older adults.

Gallistl, V., Parisot, V. (2022). Orchestrating Ageing – A Field Approach Towards Cultural Disengagement in Later Life. International Journal of Ageing and Later Life (Online first). DOI: 10.3384/ijal.1652-8670.3506

Despite gerontology’s growing interest in culture, relatively little attention has been given to older adults’ participation in theater. This paper addresses this gap by developing field theory as an analytical tool to conceptualize processes of cultural disengagement in later life. Ten older individuals (60+ years) were invited to investigate their access to three different theater spaces in Vienna. The investigation was documented through participatory observations, qualitative interviews, and photo diaries. The results highlight three specific sets of rules that are relevant in theater: Rules about 1) the ageing body, 2) mobility, and 3) subjectivities. Furthermore, these rules are age-coded, which means that many of the rules visitors in theaters have to follow to be able to participate in theater are not easily followed by older adults. Finally, this article outlines the potential of field theory for gerontology and highlights the importance of studying processes of cultural disengagement in later life.

Gallistl, V., Richter, L., Heidinger, Th., Schütz, T., Rohner, R., Hengl, L., Kolland, F. (2022). Precarious ageing in a global pandemic: older adults’ experiences of being at risk due to COVID-19. Ageing & Society (First View). DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X22000381

Health authorities worldwide address older adults as a risk group for more serious illness and health complications associated with COVID-19, while social gerontologists have warned that addressing older adults as a risk group of COVID-19 bears the risk of reinforcing ageism. This paper empirically explores to what extent older adults perceive themselves as part of a COVID-19 risk group and how these perceptions influence their everyday lives and experiences of age and ageing. This paper draws upon data from a mixed-methods study on older adults' risk perceptions during COVID-19 in Lower Austria, including a representative survey on 521 adults (60+ years) and data from 20 semi-structured interviews. Approximately two-thirds of the respondents consider themselves at risk of COVID-19 and name age, in addition to pre-existing illness, as a contributing factor in this risk perception. Older adults with health constraints, and especially older men, have a higher probability of perceiving risk due to COVID-19. Additionally, older adults report that they experience being ‘suddenly seen as old’ or ‘being put into a box’ during the pandemic, which influenced their experiences and images of ageing. Our study provides insights into how perceived COVID-19 risk affects the everyday lives of older adults. Age-based categorisations of risk contribute to a shift in images of age and ageing, drawing on insecurity and risk, rather than successful and active ageing, to conceptualise later life.

Gallistl, V., Wanka, A. 2022. The internet multiple: How internet practices are valued in later life. International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 15, 2. DOI: 10.3384/ijal.1652-8670.3563

Internet practices of older adults are multifaceted and go beyond a “use” and “non-use” binary. In this article, we suggest a valuation approach towards Internet practices in later life that explores Internet practices not as “use” or “non-use,” but rather asks which forms of Internet practices are valued in later life, and which ones are de-valued. For this valuography, we draw upon different data sources, including interviews with older adults, to explore the multiple “goods” and “bads” through which Internet use in later life gets valued. The findings suggest two registers of value: autonomy and innovation. Valued Internet practices in later life are therefore done by an autonomous, older individual and include innovative technologies. We conclude that a performative, reflexive, and value-oriented understanding of Internet practices sheds light on the “Internet Multiple,” or the many different shapes the Internet takes in older people’s lives that go beyond a “use” and “non-use” binary.

Galčanová Batista, L., Urbaniak, A., & Wanka, A. (2022). Doing ageing research in pandemic times: A reflexive approach towards research ethics during the COVID- 19 pandemic. Ageing and Society, 1-12. Link:

The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on societies and individual lives across the globe. In this paper, we address the impact of the pandemic and the protective measures on empirical social scientific ageing research through the lens of ‘ethically important moments’. One of the most crucial measures for preventing the spread of the virus includes social distancing; therefore, empirical research methods based on person-to-person direct contact (as in interviews) and first-hand observation have been scaled back since 2020. For ageing research, the challenges are particularly pronounced due to the ongoing discussion regarding vulnerabilities associated with higher age and age-based discrimination. Hence, many researchers focusing on ageing are facing some difficult questions: How and under what conditions can we carry on with empirical research without putting our research participants and ourselves at risk? Firstly, we systematically identify the key dimensions and challenges that have shaped social scientific research during the lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic: fragmentation, fluidity, ambiguity and uncertainty. Then, using insights from two international research projects, we illustrate and critically reflect on the ethically important moments and practical dilemmas that have resulted from these pandemic challenges when researching with and about older adults.

Höppner, G.; Wanka, A. & Endter, C. (2022). Linking Ages – un/doing age and family in the Covid-19 Pandemic. Journal of Family Research, Special Issue Family Lives during the COVID-19 Pandemic in European Societies, Early View, 1–19.
Link: https://10.20377/jfr-727

Objective: In this paper we ask how and through which social practices age and family are relationally being un/done in the course of the pandemic in Germany, and how these un/doings shape, shift or even break intergenerational relations.

Background: The spread of the coronavirus and the attempts of governments to slow it down are severely affecting livelihoods worldwide. The institutionalised ageism underlying these government measures affects the youngest and oldest in society in particular (Ayalon et al. 2020; van Dyk et al. 2020). Intergenerational relations of social reproduction enacted, inter alia, through practices of eldercare, grandparenting, or voluntary work, are significantly limited in the current pandemic, as older adults are framed as an 'at-risk group', children as 'silent transmitters', and young adults as a 'risky group' (Ayalon et al. 2020; Stokes & Patterson 2020). These constructions contribute to the constitution, stabilisation and 'doing' of age in the pandemic.

Method: We present findings from longitudinal research that was conducted through qualitative, problem-centred interviews between March 2020 and February 2021 with persons of different ages living in different household and care constellations in Germany.

Results: Whereas in non-pandemic times doing age can be constitutive for doing family – as a constellation traditionally perceived to comprise multiple generations – we see the opposite happening in the pandemic: as age-based government measures to contain the spread of the virus limit intergenerational relations, older adults face the risk of being excluded from families. Hence, doing age can lead to a redoing or even an undoing of family.

Conclusion: The paper outlines the potential of a 'linking ages' approach for the study of family lives and of intergenerational relations in times of crises.

Pihlainen, K., Ehlers, A., Rohner, R., Cerna, K., Kärnä, E., Hess, M., Hengl, L., Aavikko, L., Frewer-Graumann, S., Gallistl, V., Müller, C. 2022. Older adults‘ reasons to participate in digital skills learning: An interdisciplinary, multiple case study from Austria, Finland, and Germany. Studies in the Education of Adults (Online first). DOI: 10.1080/02660830.2022.21233268

The rapid development of digital technologies and their increasing application in many areas of everyday life challenge all citizens to continuously learn digital skills. This also applies to older adults, among whom digital literacy is on average less well-developed than among younger adults. This article investigates why retired older adults participate in opportunities to learn digital skills. Multiple case design with both qualitative and quantitative methods was used to include the views of older adults from Austria, Finland, and Germany. The results of this interdisciplinary study indicated individual, social and technical reasons for their participation in digital skills training. Practical implications and recommendations for future studies are suggested.


Sandra Torres, Uppsala University, Sweden


Lucie Vidovićová, Masaryk University, Czech Republic


Esteban Calvo, Universidad Mayor, Chile


Myra Hamilton, University of New South Wales, Australia


Vera Gallistl, Karl Landsteiner University for Health Sciences, Austria


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

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