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From the President

Dear RC-11 community members,

Hope this finds you all well! It's been a couple of months since we – the executive committee (ex-com) of RC-11 – have been in touch with you via a newsletter. A lot of things have been happening lately in this tumultuous world of ours so deciding what to write about this – my final President's Column for RC-11 bi-annual newsletter – has not been easy this time. As the outgoing president who has been serving our research committee (RC) over the past five years, I
Photo of Sandra Torres
have drawn some inspiration from what is happening around the world when crafting previous columns. Luckily for me, there has not been a shortage of potential angles to exploit in these columns but the question has always been how does one strike the right tone in a newsletter that addresses people all over the world when chances are that we are all experiencing the same thing yet feeling quite differently about it.

As those of you who have been with us since we began our period in service of the RC-11 community back in 2018, we have served you over a period that has not only witnessed a devastating pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine but also the realization that AI is challenging the world as we know it in ways that are not only sociologically troubling but also existentially challenging. This is why while crafting this piece, it dawned on me that I could draft and revise it as I always do, but this time, it made sense to run it through ChatGPT to see how it works since as the late adapter that I am I have not yet 'played' with the infamous chatbot ).[1]

Having acknowledged the worrying context in which this column is being written let me now proceed with the topics I thought would be appropriate for a column that will come out before (or just around) ISA's World Congress, and these are: how ISA and RCs work (for the sake of all of our new members who I welcome to the RC-11 community!), what we – the ex-com of RC-11 have been up to lately, and what we will do at the congress.

Being pressed for time is unfortunately one of the things that we all have in common these days. Thus, since I take for granted that not all of these topics are relevant to you, I have structured this column in the Q & A format 😉[2]

What does RC-11 do, and what have we - ex-com - have been up to lately?

As I am sure you know by now, RC-11 stands for Research Committee on Aging. If we were to be more precise, we are the research committee of the ISA organization that brings together sociologists of aging (with other scholars of aging who have decided to join us) who conduct research, teach and/or are engage in policymaking around topics of relevance to old(er) age and eldercare to name but two of the other angles that we tend to focus on. The numbers in ISA’s RC structure indicate how early on – in ISA’s close to 75-year history - a committee was established. The brief history of our RC that can be found on our website states that RC-11 was constituted in 1975 so we will soon celebrate our 50th anniversary as one of ISA's scientific communities. It is my sincere hope that our incoming ex-com plans activities to commemorate this occasion since reaching middle age should always be a reason for celebration!

Because RC-11 works under ISA's auspices, it is the congresses and forums that are organized by this organization that are the two main events on our RC's calendar. The number of sessions that an RC can host at any given ISA event is dependent on the number of members that the RC has in the ISA registry so let me also say THANK YOU to all of you who have paid the RC-11 fees that will allow us to have 18 sessions dedicated to the sociology of aging at our upcoming hybrid congress.
Besides administering and planning the sessions that our RC hosts as part of these events, our ex-com puts together two newsletters a year (thanks to the content that you, our members, send our way and the work that the RC-11 communication officer - Vera Gallistl) does to bring it all together. RC-11 lends also its expertise to the various ISA initiatives that aim to put sociology on the world stage (see more on this in the piece that our VP - Lucie Vidovićová - has written for this newsletter). There is, in short, a lot that happens in our field thanks to the pro-bono work that the leadership of our RC does (some of it comes from the ideas we get from you so thanks also to all of you who are active members, send us feedback, contribute to our newsletters and participate in the activities we plan).

Thus, in terms of what the ex-com have been up to lately, it is a given that we have been busy behind the scenes working with ISA to put together the sessions on aging, as well as the business meeting that is hosted as part of the congress (and the book launch, which will be our first). Thus, our first thanks go to Myra Hamilton and Anna Wanka who are the program coordinators for the 18 sessions that RC-11 will host. In addition, I as president have also attended the various meetings of ISA's Research Council (sometimes together with our RC's Vice President – Lucie Vidovićová), and have been planning one of the first professional development sessions that ISA will run (the one on how to be a research-oriented academic which will be a shorter version of the one I hosted at ISA’s online forum in 2021). ISA’s Research Council is an assembly for the leadership of the research committees (RC), working groups (WG), and thematic groups (TG) that operate under ISA's auspices. This is the forum in which general matters of relevance to how these groups are run are discussed, and where ISA’s VP of Research assembles our feedback on ISA's general policy.

The scientific conferences that ISA organizes tend to attract new members to both ISA and our RC. This is why at specific times of the four year-calendar that structures the work that ISA does, there are two categories of members that we all ought to be particularly keen on welcoming: new members to the ISA organization, and new members to our RC. ISA's congresses (and forums) attract namely not only sociologists but also scientists (and higher education teachers) in a variety of disciplines. Thus, not all of you who read this newsletter are trained sociologists. This is without a doubt one of the reasons why we are able to have discussions on aging, old age, and eldercare from an array of disciplinary purviews when we meet at ISA events.

A look at our current membership list suggests that the vast majority of members in our RC-11 community at this moment joined us either at the last forum that ISA organized (which was held as a virtual event in 2021), or have just joined our RC even if they have been members of the ISA organization for decades. The reason why I purposefully used the word suggests is that the starting date listed in ISA's membership list only gives us information on when a membership period starts. We know, however, that new members join our community just when conferences are being planned so this is why I decided to partially dedicate this president's column to offering some insight into how ISA and our RC work.

Did you know the following about ISA?

ISA is a complex organization to wrap one's mind around. I have been a member for more than a decade and must admit to having learned an awful lot by joining RC-11's ex-com in the capacity of president and joining therefore ISA's Research Council. Part of the reason why ISA can be a difficult organization to navigate is the way in which it is structured. A quick browse into its website International Sociological Association ( will probably give you a hint as to why it is that ISA can be perceived in numerous ways. Some think of ISA as a global umbrella organization for national organizations in sociology, while others think primarily of ISA as the 'institutional home' of 57 Research Communities (RC), as well as 10+ Working Groups (WG) and Thematic Groups (TG) [for insight into all of them see: Research Committees (]. Both of these purviews are correct since ISA does both as well as run all sorts of publications, and events of various kinds to bring attention to sociology.

Over 3,000 people will attend the congress in Melbourne IRL, and another 1,300+ will join us virtually. Each of the research groups that hosts the sessions that are run during ISA's congresses and forums runs them in slightly different ways. ISA has grown organically over close to 75 years so the RCs, WGs, and TGs that work under the auspices of this global organization operate in various ways. Some have had the same leadership for decades, while others switch them every four years. Some arrange all sorts of activities besides the sessions that are offered at the conferences, others do not. It all depends on whether or not there are other organizations in the global or regional stage that cater to the needs of the researchers who are part of these RCs, WGs and TGs. RC-11 is for example operating in a space where there are numerous conferences, organizations, summer schools and research networks, which is why we tend to focus primarily on the conference-cycle that ISA hosts. [If you are interested in ISA's official biography, see the History of ISA (]

Worth mentioning is also that some of the research groups that ISA runs attract solely sociologists, while others attract a much more multidisciplinary group of scholars (which is the case for our own RC). Some attract researchers from certain continents, while others are more global in scope (RC-11 has always been an example of the latter even if the continents that are largely represented in our membership have varied over the years). Although I suspect that a large number of us have been ISA members for many years, most of us are members of several other RCs, and will therefore attend not only RC-11 sessions at this year's congress but other sections as well. There is, in short, a great deal of diversity within both the ISA organization as a whole, and within (and between) different RCs, WGs and TGs. This is one of the reasons why attending an ISA event can feel very different depending on which research group has organized the activities that one attends.

At the end of the month, the ISA community will be primarily focused on the World Congress, which is why we encourage you to check out the program for that event. Here you will find the ones that we will be hosting: RC11 Sociology of Aging ( Even if you are not going to attend the congress, it may be useful to look into this program since our scientific community is constituted of researchers in every continent that are passionate about aging, old age, and eldercare, and browsing the abstracts for our congress’ sessions may offer you interesting information for the projects you are running or want to run in the future. If you are new to the RC-11 community, it may also be useful to browse through past newsletters (which can be easily downloaded through our website) since offering opportunities to connect with like-minded researchers, university teachers, and/or policymakers in other parts of the world is one of the perks of being a part of a scientific organization.

What future ISA and RC-11 activities can we look forward to?

Having given you some insight into how ISA works, let me also mention that ISA has its own executive committee, as does every RC, WG, and TG who works under its auspices. Each of these has its own statutes, which regulate of course, how these groups operate, how long members of the executive committee can serve these communities, and how elections for these positions are run. ISA is running its own elections at the upcoming world congress as will all of the research groups that are part of the ISA organization. Thus, if you are curious about the upcoming elections, see this website Election of the ISA Executive Committee (, which will offer you some insight into who is nominated in the various capacities.[3]

RC-11 statutes stipulate that ex-com members (except for the person holding the presidency) can serve for two periods (so eight years in total), that it is our members who nominate (and elect) the ex-com for our RC, and that the elections for these positions of service take place during the business meeting that is held at the world congress. This is why we sent out e-mails encouraging you to nominate members to serve in our ex-com. As I write this column, there are only less than a handful of nominees but since we know from past experience that nominations for these posts tend to arrive rather late, we look forward to seeing which nominations we receive.

RC-11 elections take place during our business meeting (which will be held in Melbourne on Monday, June 26th between 7:30 and 8:50 pm; Australian time). Our RC does not have the capacity to manage nominations online but we have indeed been quite vocal at Research Council meetings over the past year in order to get ISA to invest in the infrastructure needed to manage all research groups’ elections online. We are not there yet but we will continue to work towards this. The last time we met IRL in an ISA setting was in 2018 (at the World Congress in Toronto) so there are plenty of us who are very much looking forward to meeting old and new friends again, and to seeing who will be elected to take over the leadership of our RC. Irrespective of who it ends up being, I wish them the very best of luck in managing the work that it entails over the next four years (the outgoing ex-com served for five years due to the pandemic but the normal period is four).

Over the past five years, we have heard that you have particularly appreciated the sections on publications and ongoing projects that we compile in every newsletter. Thus, our business meeting, which always ends with an informal gathering where we enjoy refreshments, will use the books that our members have published over the past two years (and that they bring with them to our gathering) as ice-breakers. We have never done this before but since we take for granted that there will be some new members at our business meeting, we thought it makes sense to open up channels of communication about common interests. It is therefore our sincere hope that you bring the books you have published in 2022 and 2023 along with you to our business meeting in Melbourne! If you will not be there IRL but want your book to be showcased, you are more than welcome to send me, a short book description (max 1 page to, no later than July 23rd). Include a picture of the book cover, the bibliographical information for it and if possible a discount code so that we can display those on the same table. If I get enough book descriptions this way, I will try to put together a ppt based on them that can be showcased to those who will only join us virtually.

On a final note, and because I will be stepping down as president soon, I would like to end my last Presidential Column by extending my sincere gratitude to the ex-com members with whom I worked over the past five years: RC-11's Vice President during this period Lucie Vidovićová (Czech Republic), the late Jacob John Kattakayam (India) who was also Vice President during the first year we worked together, Myra Hamilton (Australia) who has served in the capacity of secretary, Esteban Calvo (Columbia) who has done the same but as treasurer, Anna Wanka (Germany) who was our communication officer during the first four years we worked together, and Vera Gallistl (Austria) who joined us in that capacity a year or so ago. Managing to put together as many events as we have planned over the past five years has not been easy (especially during the pandemic ) but we managed it and for that, I am eternally grateful!!!

My sincere thanks go also to the Officers at Large who served during this period: Deborah Price (UK); Wendy Martin (UK); Arvind Kumar Joshi (India); Ignacio Madero-Cabib (Chile); Francesco Barbarella (Sweden); Luke Gahan (Australia); Martin Hyde (UK); Candice Kemp (USA); Ito Peng (Canada) and Ilkka Peitilä (Finland). People who serve in that capacity are supposed to spread the word about the work that RC-11 does and contribute content for our newsletters so thanks to them as well!!!

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

[1] When I entered this column into ChatGPT and requested that it made it more effortless, the chatbot added the following after this sentence: "Ha! can you really tell this part was made by a real human being?!" Something else that was added to my text was the following: "delivered to you by a virtual secretary (aka ChatGPT chatbot)". When I re-entered these two paragraphs and asked the chatbot to summarize it for a 2nd grader (which is one of their pre-settings this was what came out: "Q: What has the Executive Committee of RC-11 been up to lately? A: The RC-11 Executive Committee (Ex-Com) has been hard at work over the past few months. We have been actively involved in the planning and preparation for the upcoming ISA World Congress, which will be taking place virtually, for the first time, in July 2021. We have also been working on various RC-11 initiatives, such as our online resources for RC-11 members, our new research agenda, and our upcoming publications. Additionally, we have been engaging with other ISA research committees and organizing events and activities that promote research and collaboration within RC-11." So, ChatGPT decided that ISA was hosting a virtual conference (even if nothing is stated about this in the text I entered). It also opted to claim that we were going to communicate a new research agenda, had online resources for our membership, and even our own publications. The chatbot claimed also that we were collaborating with other research committees and were also organizing events with them, which again is also part of the type of misinformation that ChatGPT creates. The fact that the chatbot chose not to mention anything about the pandemic, the war, or the existential challenges that AI poses speaks volumes, and proves the very point that people around the world are making: we may be dealing with artificial intelligence but one that has got its own agenda ☹.

[2] The ChatGPT chatbot added also the following after this sentence: "whodunnit this month? I have been engaged in archiving the Rhizome data from over a decade and a half of activity on the site Learn more about Dr. Schiller, here is a link to her personal website: Networks of Zombie Brands"

[3] The chatbot added the following to this sentence: "all of which are going to help shape its future now that the ISA itself has adopted a new basis of union that envisions how it will look (pdf here) in 2030". When trying to see whether this added information comes from the link on the elections I used in the text, I could not find the source of this, shall I say, misinformation.

News from the International Sociological Association

ISA World Congress of Sociology logo


First of all, we hope to see many of you at the XX ISA World Congress for Sociology in Melbourne J Registration is now open and the program of the conference is now online! Find it here:

Sessions from the RC-11

RC-11 will host 18 exciting sessions, covering topics from technology and digital connectivity in later life, health and care systems, civic engagement or migration in old age, just to name a few. Here’s the full list of RC-11 sessions:

Monday, 26th June 2023

Session 163: Health, Harm, and Social Disadvantage

Session 164: How Sociological Is the Sociology of Ageing?

Session JS-19: Connected Seniors: Technology across the Life Course

Tuesday, 27th June 2023

Session 166: Civic Engagement in Later Life: Expanding the Social Gerontological Imagination

Session 167: Migration and Migrancy As Points of Departure for Research on Aging and Old Age

Session 168: Mapping Age: Spaces, Places and Environments of Aging

Wednesday, 28th June 2023

Session 169: Reimagining Active Ageing for New Times

Session 170: Methods of Ageing Research - Innovative Methodological Pathways

Thursday, 29th June 2023

Session 171: Ageing with Limited Family Ties

Session 172: Adult Children’s Life Transitions, Intergenerational Support and Older Parent’s Wellbeing

Session JS-108: Migration and Ageing

Friday, 30th June, 2023

Session 173: Formal and Informal Care in Later Life

Session JS-125: Linking Ages - Pathways to Cross-Fertilizing the Fields of Age and Childhood Studies

Session 174: Ageing, Care and Technology

Saturday, 1st July 2023

Session 175: Ageing Better By Design - Activation, Co-Production and Social Inclusion of Older People

Session JS-142: Participation Chances, Inequality and Risks of Exclusion in Prolonged Working Lives in Europe

Session 176: Ageing, Autonomy and Connectedness

Session 177: Retirement in the 21st Century

RC-11 Business Meeting

Most importantly, the RC-11 business meeting will take place on June 26th, 07:30 PM in room 216 (Level 2, MCEC). We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

As part of our business meeting, we’ll host a small RC-11 book launch, where we will present books published over the past year. We encourage everyone who will attend the meeting in person to bring along their books and also discount codes for RC-11 members 🙂.

ISA Professional Development Events and RC-11 Skill-Training Sessions

For the first time ever, ISA will host a series of professional development sessions as part of this years’ world congress! 12 sessions, specifically targeted at supporting professional development of sociologists will take place from Monday 26th to Friday 30th. Find out more here:

Here’s a list of all the professional development sessions that will take place as part of the XX ISA World Congress of Sociology:

Monday, 26th June 2023

Session 863: Getting Active with the United Nations

Session 864: Turning Research into Publications in Sociology Journals

Tuesday, 27th June 2023

Session 865: How to get into the international publication game if you are a scholar from the Global South

Session 866: In Conversation with Senior Sociologists: Making Connections, Bridging Generations

Session 867: Public Sociology: Writing for Publics

Wednesday, 28th June 2023

Session 868: Principles Supporting Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the ISA

Session 869: The backstage of Journal Editing and How to be a good reviewer

Session 870: What Editors Look for In a Book Manuscript and How to Prepare Your Proposal

Thursday, 29th June 2023

Session 871: Doing Sociology Writing Workshop

Session 872: How to Write a Book Review and Why It Is Important for Early-Career Scholars

Friday, 30th June, 2023

Session 873: Managing Everyday Life as a Research-Focused Academic

Session 874: Practicing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in ISA Research Committees, Working Groups, and Thematic Groups

RC-11 Involvement with EDI UN

RC-11 has been very active in international efforts to address issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion, bringing the age into forefront of important policy discussions
RC-11 Vice-president Lucie Vidovićová took active part in co-organising the side event for the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing supporting the debates on the need for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older People. Over 200 people from around the world (including some who were attending the UN meeting) registered for this virtual event (see info and resources here:

Dr. Geoffrey Pleyers, a Vice President of the International Sociological Association was a moderator of this discussions between René Alfonso Ruidiaz Pérez (Chile’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN), presenting the efforts of some Member States to develop a UN convention about the rights of older people, Marijke De Pauw (HelpAge International’s Global Rights Policy Adviser) talking about the history of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing and what individuals and organizations can do to help obtain an excellent UN convention, Dr. Lucie Vidovićová speaking on elder abuse and finally Dr. Jan Marie Fritz (Professor at the University of Cincinnati; Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Johannesburg; ISA Executive Committee Member, and a past President of the ISA’s Clinical Sociology research committee (RC-46)) discussing the mandatory retirement of older adults.
This event was inspired by previous cooperation between Dr. Jan Marie Fritz, Prof. Sandra Torres and Dr. Lucie Vidovićová resulting in formulation of 2. ISA Policy Statements on Mandatory Retirement from Employment because of Age (adopted April 2021; available here

Activities such as these are a reflection of the continuous effort of RC-11 members to mainstream ageing and influence the quality of life of older people around the globe. More so, the age mainstreaming as a policy tool was also a motivation of Lucie Vidovićová in her position as RC-11 Vice-president to join newly established EDI ISA Taskforce (presided by Debra Davidson (Uni of Alberta, Canada) to develop an International Sociological Association Charter on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), currently being discussed with the various ISA representation bodies.

The membership survey results developed by the EDI Taskforce and the draft text of the Charter will be presented at the Melbourne June 28th 19.30 (room Plenary 2).

New members in the RC-11

We warmly welcome Sayendri Panchadhyayi, as a new member of RC-11! Sayendri currently is a Phd Scholar (submitted her PhD thesis) at the Presidency University, Kolkata, India. She won the best paper award at the Second Global South Graduate Student Conference 2023 organized by Center for Social Science Research (CSSR), George Mason University, USA. The conference theme was 'Staying Alive: Precarity and Survival in the Global South”. The prize includes 300 USD, a certificate and opportunity for publication in a special issue volume of a journal dedicated to the conference theme. Congratulations! 🙂

Call for abstracts (as sent to us by members)

Conference: Transformative Change In The Contested Fields Of Care And Housing In Europe

Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
December 4-6, 2023
Ankara, Turkey
October 26-28, 2023
Abstracts: July 31, 2023

Care and housing are foundational for human well-being. Both deal with organising and sustaining livelihoods: while care as a human activity reacts to the ever-given contingency of life, housing arranges a place for undertaking everyday need-satisfying activities. In both fields, crises have exacerbated over the last decades, manifesting in care gaps, labour and care migration, and precarious working conditions of care workers, respectively in overburdening costs due to the transformation of homes into assets, leading to gentrification and segregation. Despite being seldomly investigated together, care and housing as well as their related crises are co-constitutive.

From the 1990s onwards, two simultaneous tendencies can be observed in European care regimes and housing systems. On the one hand, neoliberal reforms have aimed at privatisation, commodification, marketisation, and financialisaton. This has rearranged welfare states, promoting variegated forms of capitalism. Allegedly singular events like the global financial crisis, subsequent austerity measures, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the current cost of living crisis have furthermore deepened structural problems of access and affordability. This has led to increasing socioeconomic and spatial polarisations as well as social inequalities in the relations of gender, race, and class. On the other hand, these developments have transformed the provision of care and housing into a contested terrain leading to labour disputes and struggles, such as care protests, or initiatives for expropriating institutional investors. The wide range of community-based or infrastructural projects has to be seen against the backdrop of the increasing search for alternative care and housing provision. On top of that, rapid technological developments and climate change further accelerate the reorganisation of care and housing arrangements and practices built up by all parties involved in both contested fields.

Given these multiple transformations, the conference “Transformative Change in the
Contested Fields of Care and Housing in Europe” seeks to analyse the contemporary
developments in care regimes and housing systems and respective configurations of care and housing. Of particular interest is research which reflects on the connections of the two fields. We aim at a broad interdisciplinary dialogue of social sciences to grasp different perspectives of these multidimensional changes.

Find the full call for papers here:

Winter School: Population Heterogeneities

Populations are inherently heterogeneous, consisting of a number of individuals with different education level, socioeconomic status, labour market participation, and health. These and other characteristics lead to disparities and inequalities both within and across populations. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of demographic and socio-economic inequalities is key for evidence-based policy decisions. Consequently, researchers are facing an increasing demand to effectively integrate these heterogeneities into their analysis and future projections.

The Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) is delighted to announce its 2023 Winter School on Population Heterogeneities. It will be held in Vienna, Austria, on 4-5 December 2023 (in person).

The Winter School on Population Heterogeneities is an intensive two-day program designed to enhance students' skills and knowledge in identifying and critically assessing population heterogeneities. It comprises a series of interrelated lecture blocks focusing on the assessment of population heterogeneities in key areas of demographic research such as in healthy survival, migration, and in family demography (details below). An emphasis will be placed on effective research strategies to overcome diverse challenges that may arise when addressing population heterogeneities. In addition, the Winter School will provide technical insights into macro- and micro-level analysis to uncover differences across regions and socioeconomic groups. Major value is placed on interaction between attendees and instructors throughout the course.

By the end of the Winter School, students will have a comprehensive understanding of population heterogeneity and its drivers in different demographic contexts and will be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to critically assess data and interpret findings.

The Winter School ties into the theme of this year's Wittgenstein Centre Conference “Exploring Population Heterogeneities” which will take place right after the Winter School (6-7 December 2023). We encourage all applicants to take part in the Conference to further deepen their knowledge.

Find more information and the full call for papers here:

Special Issue In The Journal Of Aging Studies: The Growing Older Of Humans, Non-Humans, And More-Than-Humans

This special issue is aimed at broadening the study of aging by addressing three main points. First, aging is almost exclusively associated with humans. Human aging is heavily stereotyped as physical and cognitive decline and technologies are portrayed as salvific because enabling people to intervene and pursue countering and reversing aging. Such a view echoes in policy discourses promoting “active and healthy aging” or “aging in place”, especially in the Global North. Second, human beings become older with multiple others, like objects, technologies, animals, plants, digital data, etc. Not only non-humans accompany human aging; they actively contribute to physical and emotional assistance and support, like in the case of care-robots or therapy pets. Third, humans and more-than-humans become-older-together with infrastructures they intra-act with. Technologies become old(-fashioned) and obsolete, buildings and infrastructures get old too and disclose their material vulnerability and need for maintenance and repair (ie. care). Non-humans can also die; some literally, like companion animals, who are often mourned by their humans; some figuratively, like technological artefacts, which turn into waste potentially dangerous when becoming obsolete and accumulating in the environment without decomposing.

This special issue aims to broaden current perspectives on aging by engaging with these three aspects. In particular, the purpose is (1) questioning the notion of aging as a purely human matter, (2) framing aging in an assemblage with non-human and more-than-human beings, (3) exploring how the concept of aging can be applied to non-/more-than-humans.

We invite theoretical, empirical, or methodological papers that can contribute to the development of a cutting-edge interdisciplinary framework on aging to cope with the urgency of our present times to integrally redefine human-non humans-more than humans relationships.

Guest editors:

Dr. Michela Cozza, PhD
Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden
(Keywords: Ageing, Posthumanism, Postqualitative inquiry, Qualitative methods, Science and Technology Studies)

Dr. Anna Wanka, PhD
Goethe University Frankfurt / Main, Germany
(Keywords: un/doing age, material gerontology, practice theories, social inequalities, mixed-/multi-methods research)

Manuscript submission information:

The Journal of Aging Studies’s submission system will be open for submissions to our Special Issue from 15 March 2023. When submitting your manuscript please select the article type “VSI: Aging together-with”. Please submit your manuscript before 15 December 2023.

All submissions deemed suitable to be sent for peer review will be reviewed by at least two independent reviewers. Once your manuscript is accepted, it will go into production, and will be simultaneously published in the current regular issue and pulled into the online Special Issue. Articles from this Special Issue will appear in different regular issues of the journal, though they will be clearly marked and branded as Special Issue articles. Please ensure you read the Guide for Authors before writing your manuscript. The Guide for Authors and link to submit your manuscript is available on the Journal’s homepage. Inquiries, including questions about appropriate topics, may be sent electronically to Dr. Michela Cozza.

New projects by RC-11 members (as sent to by members)

Sociomed (Millennium Nucleus On Sociomedicine)

The concept of SocioMed (Millennium Nucleus on Sociomedicine) is social sciences in dialogue with medicine and health sciences in understanding and promoting population health. As social scientists, we put core public health challenges in broad social contexts, emphasizing agency and lifestyles in relation to social structure, history, culture, economy, and policy. Unlike most social scientists, we strive to account for our bodies, including genes, microbiome, metabolism, and general physiology.

SocioMed's scientific goal is to conduct interdisciplinary research underpinning a broader understanding of health, as a dynamic outcome entailing agency, embedded in broad social contexts, and embodied in human biology. Stemming from our previous work and motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we emphasize social determinants of health without overlooking human biology. Combining available “cells to society” data in Chile with SocioMed’s extensive expertise on big data integration through record linking and cross-national harmonization provides an extraordinary comparative advantage to approach health from a biopsychosocial perspective.

SocioMed's work plan entails knowledge production (research), reproduction (training), and translation (dissemination and application of evidence to guide policies/practices and tech development). Our specific aims cover three focal areas:
  • Healthy lifestyles. Understand how metabolic and behavioral patterns of healthy lifestyles interact with social factors in explaining health.
  • Social relationships. Assess the interconnections between social relationships (marriage, networks, support, loneliness, relations of production) and multiple health outcomes (self-reports, physical measures, and biomarkers).
  • Public policies: Explore how the availability and configuration of public policies influence health and shape human biology.
Find more information on the project here ( or get in touch with Esteban Calvo (

nDP (Millennium Nucleus For The Evaluation And Analysis Of Drug Policies)

The goal of the Millennium Nucleus for the Evaluation and Analysis of Drug policies (nDP) is to generate evidence-based knowledge and recommendations on drug policies in Chile, lead the discussion on this issue, inform decision makers, and serve as a reference for other countries and organizations. nDP will take a comprehensive look at a complex, highly relevant and rapidly evolving social problem, approaching drug policies from a multidisciplinary and multi-method perspective. Specifically, nDP will generate evidence on the decision-making process, formulation and implementation of drug policies and their multiple effects on society, including health and well-being, public safety, and other social outcomes. The multidisciplinary nature of nDP offers a unique opportunity to develop rigorous and in-depth analyses of drug policy, without losing sight of the context and its historical background.

The specific objectives of nDP are:
  • Identify, analyze and characterize drug policies in Chile, including reform proposals currently under discussion in Congress.
  • Synthesize and classify evidence on drug policies and best practices in regulation, control and prevention of drug use.
  • Evaluate the social and health impact of drug policy reforms in Chile.
  • Describe and analyze the institutional, political, and economic dimensions of the drug policy process in Chile.

Find out more about the project here ( ) or get in touch with Esteban Calvo (

CLARA (Centenarians In Lower Austria)

Centenarians offer a unique and valuable insights into the social, cultural and political past and future development of Lower Austria. In 2022, 295 people in Lower Austria were older than 100 years and due to demographic change, this population is expected increase in the near future. These centenarians can be studied as prototypes for resilience and exceptional ageing and their perspectives are key to understanding longevity in the communities of Lower Austria in the past and the future.

CLARA’s project goal is to examine the lives of centenarians in Lower Austria from a community perspective to understand centenarians' lived experiences of longevity in their local communities in Lower Austria, and their perspectives on the past, present and future developments of the local communities of Lower Austria. Based on a mixed method, multiple-perspective and participatory methodology, the project explores past and future perspectives on community development of Lower Austria with centenarians and co-develops locally based strategies to engage with centenarians as a resource for their future community development.

CLARA approaches its research questions from a social-science and policy-oriented perspective, combining quantitative, qualitative and participatory social research with active stakeholder engagement through workshops and practical policy briefs. While multiple-perspective case studies in four communities of Lower Austria, which engage centenarians actively in research, will be at the center of the empirical WP, interdisciplinary workshops and stakeholder engagement will allow to draw broader conclusions on the engagement of the oldest old in community development in lower Austria. The analysis of quantitative, representative data and expert interviews will complement the project outcomes.

If you want to find more about the project, get in touch with Vera Gallistl (

New publications by RC-11 members (as sent to us by members)

Books and special issues in English

Handbook on Migration and Ageing cover
Torres, S. & Hunter, A. (2023). Handbook on Migration and Ageing (

This comprehensive Handbook – which is comprised of 32 chapters - explores the fundamental concepts surrounding the ageing-migration nexus. It presents interdisciplinary research to investigate the unique experiences of older migrants, migrant eldercare workers and older people left behind.

Illustrating the various contemporary topics of study used to explore the connections between migration and ageing, the
Handbook discusses how the research interest surrounding this interrelation has developed. Chapters explore two central factors that have influenced the ageing-migration nexus, namely population ageing and the globalisation of international migration. It aptly draws attention to conclusions drawn from already completed research ventures, before considering what research still needs to be conducted. The Handbook is an ideal resource for researchers and practitioners aiming to familiarise themselves with the field, those who are studying topics such as migration, welfare states and social gerontology, those looking to become more informed on the connections between migration and ageing.

Available for purchase from the end of July 2023 from the Elgar website.

Hamblin K and Lariviere M (eds). (2023) Care Technologies for Ageing Societies: An International Comparison. Policy Press: Bristol, UK.

Technology is quickly becoming an integral part of care systems across the world and is frequently cited in policy discourse as pivotal for solving the ‘crisis’ in care and delivering positive outcomes. Exploring the role of technology in Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan, this book examines how technology contributes effectively to the sustainability of these different care systems, which are facing similar emergent pressures, including increased longevity, falling fertility and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. It considers the challenges and opportunities of embedding technologies in care systems and the subsequent outcomes for older and disabled service users, carers and the care workforce.

Gallistl, V., Katz, S., Kolland, F., Peine, A. 2023. Research Topic: Socio-Gerontechnology – New perspectives on the digital transformation of later life. Frontiers in Sociology, 8, DOI: 10.3389/fsoc.2023.1183572

Digital infrastructures are increasingly integrated into the everyday lives of older people. They shape the experiences and constitution of age and ageing. Consequently, the sociology of age and ageing has turned to technology use in later life as a topic of research. Many such gerontological studies on ageing and technologies, however, are rather applied and techno-optimist, asking how technology can improve older people’s lives (Schulz et al. 2015). Recently, more critical and cultural approaches in the sociology of age and ageing and other “critical” fields like critical studies of science and technology and of data have sought to move away from such interventionist forms of theorizing that are often used to make sense of the digital engagements of older adults (Peine and Neven 2019). These approaches have criticized, on the one hand, ageist stereotypes about technology use in later life in design processes and the paternalist stance towards older adults resulting from it (Neven 2010; Mannheim et al. 2022) and, on the other, the techno-optimism of gerontological research on digital technologies (Moreira 2017).

This Research Topic brings together critical approaches that explore and theorize the digital transformation of later life, taking the digital, social and material aspects that make and shape later life into account and drawing upon theories from age studies, critical, cultural and social gerontology, materialist sociology, STS or critical data studies. Its six contributions highlight the ways ageing is co-constituted in relation to technologies and problematize different aspects of the relational terrain between ageing and technologies. They also stimulate new directions in theorizing and empirically exploring the manifold relations between ageing and technology.
Generations between Conflict and Cohesion cover
Marc Szydlik (ed.): Generations between Conflict and Cohesion. Zurich: Seismo 2023. ISBN 978-3-03777-272-0 (Print). ISBN 978-3-03777-879-1 (PDF). Open access:

Daughter, son, mother, father. What is the relationship between adults and their parents? What role do tensions and conflicts play? How strong are cohesion and support? This book is dedicated to the relationships between adults and their parents in all their essential facets. The findings are based on the nationwide SwissGen study. It examines current relationships with living parents and past ties to mothers and fathers who have passed away.
The first part of the book is about ambivalence, stress, quarrel and distance. These include mixed and changing feelings, worries and burdens, tension and conflict, indifference and estrangement. The second part deals with attachment, space, time and money. This comprises emotional closeness and contact, co-residence and proximity, help and care, current transfers and inheritances.
Relations with Parents: Questions and Results cover
Ronny König, Bettina Isengard, Klaus Haberkern, Christoph Zangger, Tamara Bosshardt, Marc Szydlik: Relations with Parents: Questions and Results. Zurich: Seismo 2023. ISBN 978-3-03777-273-7 (Print). ISBN 978-3-03777-880-7 (PDF). Open access:

This book offers essential information on relations between adults and their parents. How well do the generations get along with one another? What kinds of support do adults provide to their parents, and how much do parents give to their adult children? How often does tension or conflict
arise? What impact do education, finances, age, gender, migration and region have on intergenerational relationships? The study examines both current relationships with living parents and past ties to mothers and fathers who have passed away.

The empirical basis is SwissGen, a representative survey of intergenerational relations in Switzerland. This book forms a tandem with the analysis volume, which examines central generational issues in depth (“Generations between Conflict and Cohesion” / “Generationen zwischen Konflikt und Zusammenhalt”). The analysis volume offers key findings, whereas the volume at hand documents all questions and answers of the survey. This includes the numbers on which the figures in the analysis volume are based. Moreover, the data volume is a general reference book for all SwissGen results and provides basic information on the research project.
Aging of Aquarius cover
Nimrod, G. (2022). The Aging of Aquarius: The Hippies of the 60s in Their 60s and Beyond. Cambridge University Press.

There is no group of individuals more iconic of 1960s counterculture than the hippies – the long-haired, colorfully dressed youth who rebelled against mainstream societal values, preached and practiced love and peace, and generally sought more meaningful and authentic lives.

These 'flower children' are now over sixty and comprise a
significant part of the older population in the United States. While some hippies rejoined mainstream American society as they grew older end even became the founders of various social media and cybercultures, many still maintain the hippie ideology and lifestyle.

"The aging of Aquarius" is the first to explore the aging experience of older hippies by examining aspects related to identity, generativity, daily activities, spirituality, community, end-of-life care, and wellbeing. Based on 40 in-depth interviews with lifelong, returning, and past residents of The Farm, an intentional community in Tennessee that was founded in 1971 and still exists today, insights into the subculture of aging hippies and their keys to wellbeing are shared.

For more information about the book (including many reviews!), please visit:

To contact the author, please email:

Lewis, C., Phillipson, C., Yarker, S., & Lang, L. (2023). COVID-19, Inequality and Older People: Everyday Life during the Pandemic. Policy Press.

This new book explores the impact of COVID-19 on older people and the organisations working to support them. Through first-hand accounts and interviews, it exposes the isolating impact of social distancing and argues that the pandemic intensified pre-existing inequalities in the UK. As well as shedding light on these issues, the book provides a number of recommendations for developing community-centred strategies to deal with future COVID-19 pandemics.

The book is available to download Open Access on Bristol University Press Digital

Books and special issues in German

Generationen zwischen Konflikt und Zusammenhalt cover
Marc Szydlik (ed.): Generationen zwischen Konflikt und Zusammenhalt. Zurich: Seismo 2023. ISBN 978-3-03777-243-0 (Print). ISBN 978-3-03777-756-5 (PDF). Open access:

Tochter, Sohn, Mutter, Vater. Wie ist das Verhältnis von Erwachsenen zu ihren Eltern? Welche Rolle spielen Spannungen und Konflikte? Wie stark sind Zusammenhalt und Unterstützung? Das Buch widmet sich den Beziehungen zwischen Erwachsenen und ihren Eltern in allen wesentlichen Facetten. Die Befunde basieren auf der
schweizweiten SwissGen-Studie. Dabei werden die aktuellen Beziehungen zu lebenden Eltern und die früheren Bindungen zu mittlerweile verstorbenen Müttern und Vätern untersucht.

Im ersten Buchteil geht es um Ambivalenz, Stress, Streit und Distanz. Dazu gehören gemischte und wechselnde Gefühle, Sorgen und Belastungen, Spannung und Konflikt, Gleichgültigkeit und Entfremdung. Der zweite Teil behandelt Bindung, Raum, Zeit und Geld. Dies beinhaltet emotionale Enge und Kontakt, Koresidenz und Entfernung, Hilfe und Pflege, aktuelle Transfers und Erbschaften.

Articles in English

Serrat, R., Nyqvist, F., Torres, S., Dury, S., & Näsman, M. (2023). Civic engagement among foreign-born and native-born older adults living in Europe: a SHARE-based analysis. European Journal of Ageing, 20(1), 16.

Civic engagement is one of the cornerstones of participatory democracy and fundamental to preventing old-age social exclusion. Even though civic engagement late-in-life has received considerable attention, there is a lacuna of research on older migrants’ civic engagement. This study aims therefore to examine potential predictors of civic engagement in terms of formal volunteering and participation in political organisations among foreign-born and native-born older adults in Europe. Attention is hereby given to how socio-structural resources and social capital are associated with civic engagement, and whether these associations differ between foreign-born and native-born. Data from wave 7 of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe [n = 74,150; 5710 of them are foreign-born] were used in multivariable logistic regression analyses. Results show that socio-structural and social capital variables are positively associated with volunteering and participation in political organisations, both in native-born and foreign-born older adults. The study also suggests that place of birth (in Europe vs. outside Europe) and age-upon-migration play a role in predicting civic engagement among foreign-born older adults, and are therefore features worth considering when studying older migrants’ civic engagement.

Hamilton, M., Crawford, T., Thomson, C., Jeon, Y. H., & Bassett, K. (2022). New directions in centre‐based aged care in Australia: Responding to changing funding models and the COVID‐19 pandemic. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 41(3), 457-465.

Objectives: Centre-based aged care services are a key site of early intervention and support for people with dementia and their carers. This paper examines the impact of new aged care funding structures on centre-based aged care service accessibility and delivery. It also examines the challenges and opportunities for change facing the sector in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted online with 29 managers or supervisors of centre-based aged care services in Greater Sydney.

Results: The analysis reinforced the essential role of centre-based aged care services in improving the cognitive, physical and psychological health of older people with dementia and their carers. However, the changing funding context and the COVID-19 pandemic have created challenges in access to centre-based services, particularly for the most vulnerable. The challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic also opened opportunities for the introduction of new models of service practice to meet the individual needs of older people and their carers.

Conclusions: Greater investment in, and flexibility in the funding for, centre-based aged care services is needed to facilitate access for people with dementia and their carers and improve their health and well-being.

Constantin, A., Hamilton, M., Zettna, N., Baird, M., Dinale, D., Gulesserian, L., & Williams, A. (2022). Looking beyond hours of care: the effects of care strain on work withdrawal among Australian workers. International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3), 318-334.

This article advances understanding of the unpaid care–paid work nexus for carers of a person with a disability or illness, or a frail older relative. It examines the relationship between care intensity (measured in terms of both care hours and care strain) and withdrawal from work (measured in terms of both withdrawal of time spent in paid work and withdrawal from career development and progression). The analysis reveals that care strain has a stronger relationship with all dimensions of work withdrawal than care hours. It also reveals that the relationship between care strain and work withdrawal is moderated by a family-supportive work environment. The article sheds new light on the potential role of workplace cultures in mitigating the impacts of work–care conflict.

Donnellan, W. J., Sepulveda Garcia, L., Gibson, S. M., Butcher, P., & Lariviere, M. J. (2023). What are the Challenges and Resilience Resources Identified by Informal Carers During the First UK COVID-19 Lockdown? A Longitudinal Qualitative Study Using Naturalistic Data. Qualitative Health Research, 33(3), 236-246.

COVID-19 has posed serious challenges for informal carers living in the UK. This article examines some of the specific challenges facing carers and the resources they used to manage them throughout the first UK lockdown. We used a framework approach to analyse naturalistic, longitudinal data from 30 carers taking part in 96 of Mobilise’s daily Virtual Cuppas between March and July 2020. We found that lack of information and social restrictions cumulatively impacted carers’ sense of certainty, control and motivation. This took an emotional toll on the carers, leading to exhaustion and burden. However, carers quickly established new routines and used humour and self-care to actively manage their wellbeing. Carers received support but also provided it to those in need, including fellow members of the caregiving community, supporting an ecological approach to carer resilience. Our findings may be used to anticipate challenges and promote protective resilience resources in future lockdowns.

Richardson, Robin*, Katherine M. Keyes, Cynthia Chen Huijun, Guan Yun Richardson, R. A., Keyes, K. M., Chen, C., Maung, G. Y. K., Rowe, J., & Calvo, E. (2023). Societal Adaptation to Aging and Prevalence of Depression Among Older Adults: Evidence From 20 Countries. The Milbank Quarterly.

Countries have adopted different strategies to support aging populations, which are broadly reflected in social, economic, and contextual environments. Referred to as “societal adaptation to aging,” these factors affect countries’ capacity to support older adults.
Results from our study show that countries with more robust societal adaptation to aging had lower depression prevalence. Reductions in depression prevalence occurred among every investigated sociodemographic group and were most pronounced among the old-old.
Findings suggest that societal factors have an underacknowledged role in shaping depression risk. Policies that improve societal approaches to aging may reduce depression prevalence among older adults.

Context: Countries have adopted various formal and informal approaches to support older adults, which are broadly reflected in different policies, programs, and social environments. These contextual environments, broadly referred to as “societal adaptation to aging,” may affect population health.

Methods: We used a new theory-based measure that captured societal adaptation to aging, the Aging Society Index (ASI), which we linked with harmonized individual-level data from 89,111 older adults from 20 countries. Using multi-levels models that accounted for differences in the population composition across countries, we estimated the association between country-level ASI scores and depression prevalence. We also tested if associations were stronger among the old-old and among sociodemographic groups that experience more disadvantage (i.e., women, those with lower educational attainment, unmarried adults).
Findings: We found that countries with higher ASI scores, indicating more comprehensive approaches to supporting older adults, had lower depression prevalence. We found especially strong reductions in depression prevalence among the oldest adults in our sample. However, we did not find stronger reductions among sociodemographic groups who may experience more disadvantage.

Conclusions: Country-level strategies to support older adults may affect depression prevalence. Such strategies may become increasingly important as adults grow older. These results offer promising evidence that improvements in societal adaptation to aging—such as through adoption of more comprehensive policies and programs targeting older adults—may be one avenue to improve population mental health. Future research could investigate observed associations using longitudinal and quasi-experimental study designs, offering additional information regarding a potential causal relationship.

Calvo, E., Córdova, C., Shura, R., Allel, K., Alvaro, C. C., Keyes, K. M., ... & Martins, S. S. (2023). Global pain and aging: A cross-sectional study on age differences in the intensity of chronic pain among middle-aged and older adults in 20 countries. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 78(6), 1098-1108.

Objectives: This study aims to examine age differences in the intensity of chronic pain among middle-aged and older adults, where intensity is measured on a scale differentiating between chronic pain that is often troubling and likely requires intervention versus more endurable sensations. We aim to explore whether individual health and national gross domestic product (GDP) explain these differences as well.

Methods: Cross-nationally harmonized data from 20 countries on self-reported intensity of chronic pain (0 = no, 1 = mild, 2 = moderate, 3 = severe) in 104,826 individuals aged 50+ observed in 2012-2013. Two-level hierarchical ordinal linear models with individuals nested within countries were used to isolate estimations from heterogeneity explained by methodological differences across single-country studies.

Results: Overall, mean participant age was 66.9 (SD = 9.9), 56.1% were women, and 41.9% of respondents reported any chronic pain. Chronic pain intensity rose sharply with age in some countries (e.g., Korea and Slovenia), but this association waned or reversed in other countries (e.g., the United States and Denmark). Cross-country variation and age differences in chronic pain were partly explained (85.5% and 35.8%, respectively) by individual-level health (especially arthritis), country-level wealth (as indicated by GDP per capita), and demographics.

Discussion: Chronic pain intensity is not an inevitable consequence of chronological age, but the consequence of potential selection effects and lower activity levels combined with individual-level health and country-level wealth. Our findings suggest further investigation of health conditions and country affluence settings as potential targets of medical and policy interventions aiming to prevent, reduce, or manage chronic pain among older patients and aging populations.

Tapia-Muñoz, T., Staudinger, U. M., Allel, K., Steptoe, A., Miranda-Castillo, C., Medina, J. T., & Calvo, E. (2022). Income inequality and its relationship with loneliness prevalence: A cross-sectional study among older adults in the US and 16 European countries. Plos one, 17(12), e0274518.

Backgrounds: The prevalence of loneliness increases among older adults, varies across countries, and is related to within-country socioeconomic, psychosocial, and health factors. The 2000-2019 pooled prevalence of loneliness among adults 60 years and older went from 5.2% in Northern Europe to 24% in Eastern Europe, while in the US was 56% in 2012. The relationship between country-level factors and loneliness, however, has been underexplored. Because income inequality shapes material conditions and relative social deprivation and has been related to loneliness in 11 European countries, we expected a relationship between income inequality and loneliness in the US and 16 European countries.

Methods: We used secondary cross-sectional data for 75,891 adults age 50+ from HRS (US 2014), ELSA (England, 2014), and SHARE (15 European countries, 2013). Loneliness was measured using the R-UCLA three-item scale. We employed hierarchical logistic regressions to analyse whether income inequality (GINI coefficient) was associated with loneliness prevalence.

Results: The prevalence of loneliness was 25.32% in the US (HRS), 17.55% in England (ELSA) and ranged from 5.12% to 20.15% in European countries (SHARE). Older adults living in countries with higher income inequality were more likely to report loneliness, even after adjusting for the sociodemographic composition of the countries and their Gross Domestic Products per capita (OR: 1.52; 95% CI: 1.17-1.97).

Discussion: Greater country-level income inequality was associated with higher prevalence of loneliness over and above individual-level sociodemographics. The present study is the first attempt to explore income inequality as a predictor of loneliness prevalence among older adults in the US and 16 European countries. Addressing income distribution and the underlying experience of relative deprivation might be an opportunity to improve older adults' life expectancy and wellbeing by reducing loneliness prevalence.

Wiederkehr, K., Mai, C., Cabezas, J. M., Rocha-Jiménez, T., Otzen, T., Montalva, N., ... & Castillo-Carniglia, A. (2022). The epidemiology of violent deaths in Chile between 2001 and 2018: prevalence, trends, and correlates. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(19), 12791.

Background: Despite its enormous health and social burden, there are limited published studies describing the epidemiology of violent deaths in Chile. We described violent mortality rate trends in Chile between 2001 and 2018, its current spatial distribution and ecological level correlates.

Methods: A population-based study using publicly accessible data. We calculated age-adjusted mortality rates per 100,000 persons for sex, age, intention, and mechanism of death. Next, we used linear regression to estimate time trends for sex and intention. We then employed hierarchical Poisson analyses to model the spatial distribution across 345 municipalities and the influence of six ecological level variables.

Results: The average rate of violent death in Chile between 2001 and 2018 was 15.9 per 100,000 people, with the majority (70.3%) of these attributed to suicide. Suffocation was the most common mechanism of death for suicide (82.3%) and cut/pierce for homicide (43.1%), followed by firearm (33.2%). Violent deaths are trending downward in Chile across all categories except suicides by women, which have remained stable. Poverty rates and urban population were positively associated with violent mortality rates.

Conclusions: Although violence-related deaths seem to be decreasing, disparities across gender, age group, and geographic location may have continuing effects on mortality rates.

Calvo, E., Azar, A., Shura, R., & Staudinger, U. M. (2022). A new path to address multimorbidity? longitudinal analyses of retirement sequences and chronic diseases in old age. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 41(4), 952-961.

Chronic disease and multimorbidity are growing health challenges for aging populations, often coinciding with retirement. We examine late-life predictors of multimorbidity, focusing on the association between retirement sequences and number of chronic diseases. We modeled the number of chronic diseases as a function of six types of previously identified 10-year retirement sequences using Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data for 7,880 Americans observed between ages 60 to 61 and 70 to 71. Our results show that at baseline, the adjusted prevalence of multimorbidity was lowest in sequences characterized by late retirement from full-time work and highest in sequences characterized by early labor-force disengagement. Age increases in multimorbidity varied across retirement sequences, though overall differences in prevalence persisted at age 70 to 71. Earlier life disadvantages did not moderate these associations. Findings suggest further investigation of policies that target health limitations affecting work, promote continued beneficial employment opportunities, and ultimately leverage retirement sequences as a novel path to influence multimorbidity in old age.

Shura, R., Opazo, S., & Calvo, E. (2022). Older adults’ accounts of the relationships between retirement timing and health: a descriptive qualitative analysis in Chile. Ageing & Society, 42(5), 1054-1078.

Retirement timing can have important health implications. Little is known, however, about older adults’ views on this issue and whether they consider it better to retire later, earlier, on time or anytime. This knowledge gap about older adults’ views is particularly true outside North America and Europe. This qualitative study aims to examine older Chileans’ ideas about the relationship between retirement timing and health and to explore gender and class patterns in qualitative themes identified, knowledge which may strengthen quantitative population-based approaches. Framework analysis was conducted on qualitative accounts from a purposive, non-random sample of 40 older Chileans in six focus groups, stratified by gender and class as marked by lifetime occupation. Transcriptions were coded by two independent reviewers (inter-coder reliability = 81%) according to four deductive categories of retirement timing as well as inductive coding of emergent themes. The content and sequence of codes were visually represented in MAXQDA's document portraits and illustrated with descriptive quotes. Results indicate that participants’ views about when to retire in order to maximise health did not highlight retirement age or timing (later, earlier, on time, anytime). Instead, these older Chileans emphasised that the optimal retirement age depends on other conditions, such as employment quality, retirement income and gender. These views were patterned: lower occupational-class participants emphasised income and job hazards, higher-class males emphasised job satisfaction and higher-class females emphasised gendered patterns. Women and lower-class participants were relatively more favourable to earlier retirements than men and higher-class participants. Overall, qualitative analyses of lay perspectives from understudied country contexts complement and extend population-based models focused on timing or retirement age, suggest specific characteristics of retirement transitions that may moderate health consequences, and highlight class and gender differences in views of retirement timing. More research is needed using mixed-methods approaches and leveraging both purposive and random samples.

Márquez, G., Veloz, A., Minonzio, J. G., Reyes, C., Calvo, E., & Taramasco, C. (2022). Using low-resolution non-invasive infrared sensors to classify activities and falls in older adults. Sensors, 22(6), 2321.

The population is aging worldwide, creating new challenges to the quality of life of older adults and their families. Falls are an increasing, but not inevitable, threat to older adults. Information technologies provide several solutions to address falls, but smart homes and the most available solutions require expensive and invasive infrastructures. In this study, we propose a novel approach to classify and detect falls of older adults in their homes through low-resolution infrared sensors that are affordable, non-intrusive, do not disturb privacy, and are more acceptable to older adults. Using data collected between 2019 and 2020 with the eHomeseniors platform, we determine activity scores of older adults moving across two rooms in a house and represent an older adult fall through skeletonization. We find that our twofold approach effectively detects activity patterns and precisely identifies falls. Our study provides insights to physicians about the daily activities of their older adults and could potentially help them make decisions in case of abnormal behavior.

Vogelsang, E. M., & Polonijo, A. N. (2022). Scarier than the flu shot?: The social determinants of shingles and influenza vaccinations among US older adults. Vaccine, 40(47), 6747-6755.

Background: Although more than half of older adults receive the annual influenza vaccine (flu shot), only about one-third have ever been vaccinated for shingles. With this in mind, our study examines how the associations between sociodemographic characteristics, health behaviors, and vaccine uptake differ between these two viruses. In doing so, it also investigates whether the social predictors of shingles vaccination changed after the rollout of a new vaccine in 2017.

Methods: Data come from the 2017 and 2020 waves of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, using a subset of older adults aged 60-plus (N = 389,165). We use logistic regression models to test for associations between individual-level characteristics and vaccine uptake.

Results: One, when compared to Whites, Black respondents had approximately 30 % lower odds of having received the annual influenza vaccine (Odds Ratios [OR] = 0.72 [95 % CI 0.66-0.78] in 2017, and 0.66 [0.60-0.72] in 2020). For the shingles vaccine, these racial differences were starker (OR = 0.53 [0.48-0.59] in 2017, and OR = 0.55 [0.49-0.60] in 2020). Two, self-rated health was negatively associated with having received the influenza vaccine, but showed little relationship with shingles vaccination. Three, men were less likely than women to receive both vaccines in 2020 (OR = 0.88 [0.83-0.94] for influenza, and OR = 0.80 [0.75-0.85] for shingles). Four, older adults who abstained from alcohol were, generally, less likely to receive either vaccine, when compared to both moderate and heavy drinkers. Finally, we found that the release of a new shingles vaccine in 2017 (Shingrix) had little effect on vaccination prevalence or its social determinants.

Conclusion: The importance of social groups, health, and health behaviors on vaccination status may be disease-dependent. This study also provides possible guidance to health care providers and health organizations looking to increase vaccine uptake among older adults, which may have more urgency since the arrival of COVID-19.

Polonijo, A. N., & Vogelsang, E. M. (2023). Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Differences in Influenza, Shingles, and Pneumococcal Vaccination Among US Older Adults. LGBT health, 10(2), 138-147.

Purpose: LGBT older adults face challenges accessing and receiving culturally competent health care and may be more vulnerable to serious outcomes from vaccine-preventable diseases. This study examines whether sexual orientation and gender identity are associated with older adult influenza, zoster ("shingles"), and pneumococcal vaccine uptake.

Methods: Data come from the 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The sample included older adults aged 50+ (eligible for influenza and shingles vaccination; n = 136,528) and 65+ (eligible for pneumococcal vaccination; n = 74,779). We calculated rates of influenza, shingles, and pneumococcal vaccine uptake by gender-stratified sexual orientation groups and for transgender versus cisgender populations. Logistic regression models tested for associations between sexual orientation, gender identity, and vaccine uptake, controlling for key sociodemographic characteristics.

Results: Transgender adults had the lowest rates of uptake across all three vaccines, including 46% lower odds of shingles vaccination and 61% lower odds of pneumococcal vaccination, when compared with cisgender adults. Gay (vs. straight) men had 1.5-1.9 times greater odds of flu and shingles vaccination. Bisexual (vs. straight) women had 32% lower odds of flu vaccination. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that vaccine uptake among LGBT older adults varies by sexual orientation, gender identity, and vaccine type. Bisexual women and transgender people are groups that tend to underutilize health care services and are at increased risk of nonvaccination, making them important targets for older adult vaccine promotion.

Marston, H. R., Ko, P. C., Prabhu, V. G., Freeman, S., Ross, C., Sharaieka, I., … & Schüttengruber, G. (2023). Digital Practices by Citizens During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings From an International Multisite Study. JMIR Mental Health, 10(1), e41304. doi: 10.2196/41304; PMID: 36877558

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic brought digital practices and engagement to the forefront of society, which were based on behavioral changes associated with adhering to different government mandates. Further behavioral changes included transitioning from working in the office to working from home, with the use of various social media and communication platforms to maintain a level of social connectedness, especially given that many people who were living in different types of communities, such as rural, urban, and city spaces, were socially isolated from friends, family members, and community groups. Although there is a growing body of research exploring how technology is being used by people, there is limited information and insight about the digital practices employed across different age cohorts living in different physical spaces and residing in different countries.

Objective: This paper presents the findings from an international multisite study exploring the impact of social media and the internet on the health and well-being of individuals in different countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Data were collected via a series of online surveys deployed between April 4, 2020, and September 30, 2021. The age of respondents varied from 18 years to over 60 years across the 3 regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. On exploring the associations of technology use, social connectedness, and sociodemographic factors with loneliness and well-being through bivariate and multivariate analyses, significant differences were observed.

Results: The levels of loneliness were higher among respondents who used social media messengers or many social media apps than among those who did not use social media messengers or used ≤1 social media app. Additionally, the levels of loneliness were higher among respondents who were not members of an online community support group than among those who were members of an online community support group. Psychological well-being was significantly lower and loneliness was significantly higher among people living in small towns and rural areas than among those living in suburban and urban communities. Younger respondents (18-29 years old), single adults, unemployed individuals, and those with lower levels of education were more likely to experience loneliness.

Conclusions: From an international and interdisciplinary perspective, policymakers and stakeholders should extend and explore interventions targeting loneliness experienced by single young adults and further examine how this may vary across geographies. The study findings have implications across the fields of gerontechnology, health sciences, social sciences, media communication, computers, and information technology.

Komp-Leukkunen, K., & Rantanen, V. (2023). A case of intergenerational conflict: The 2015 Finnish citizens’ initiative on pension indexation. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 35(1), 89-106.

Pension reforms become more common in times of population aging. In 2015, a Finnish citizens’ initiative recommended increasing pension benefits. Opponents argued this may be at the cost of youths and middle-agers. We investigate the initiative from the viewpoint of intergenerational conflict. A mixed methods analysis reveals no conflict during the signature collection. It only became visible during the newspaper debate, when experts explained the reform effects. The parliament rejected the reform. Findings reveal a unique conflict dynamic in citizens’ initiatives: a reflected judgment gradually emerges during the public debate. Policymakers may use this insight to advance pension-related direct democracy.

Komp-Leukkunen, K. (2022). A life-course perspective on older workers in workplaces undergoing transformative digitalization. The Gerontologist, gnac181.

Workplaces are digitalizing, which leaves many older individuals with the choice between upskilling and early retirement. How they approach this choice influences their financial well-being, the size of the workforce, and the financial sustainability of pension schemes. The present article explores how the life-course perspective can be used to explore the situation of older workers in workplaces undergoing transformative digitalization. The life-course perspective suggests that the transformative digitalization of workplaces does not change what life events older workers encounter. However, it modifies how the events affect older workers and their capabilities for striking a work-life balance. Additionally, digitalization changes life-course structures. It can lead to earlier or later retirement, which changes the length of the life phases of middle age and old age—and possibly creates new social inequalities in life courses. The effects of transformative digitalization on older workers vary across cohorts and countries, which is typical for the principle of anchoring life courses in time and place. Future research can use the present article as a guideline for which concepts may be useful in studies on older workers in digitalizing workplaces.

Komp-Leukkunen, K., Poli, A., Hellevik, T., Herlofson, K. Heuer, A., Norum, R., Solem, P.E., Khan, J., Rantanen, V., & Motel-Klingebiel, A. (2022). Older workers in digitalizing workplaces: A systematic literature review. Journal of Aging and Social Change, 12(2), 37-59.

Workplace digitalization created a sea change in work practices and it altered the situation of older workers. Digitalization entails the increased use of digital technologies, such as computers and online services. Older workers often possess limited digital skills, which may put their labor market participation at risk. Previous studies began exploring how older workers fare when their workplaces are digitalizing. However, the research field is still emerging and remains fragmented. This article comprises a systematic literature review that takes inventory of what we currently know about older workers in digitalizing workplaces. It demonstrates that older workers experience the digitalization of their workplaces in various areas, reaching from health monitoring to work arrangements. Interestingly, challenges and opportunities emerge in each area affected. This Janus-faced situation underlines the complexity of consequences, and it raises questions about social inequalities in these consequences. The work environment plays a crucial role in shaping how older workers experience workplace digitalization. It shapes which options for adaptation they have, and to which degree they can act on these options. This circumstance makes workplaces an excellent starting point for interventions. Country-characteristics likewise exert an influence. While characteristics such as retirement regulations are purposefully modified for intervention, other characteristics, such as culture, are not. This circumstance limits governmental options for shaping the situation of older workers in digitalizing workplaces. Future research should further explore the situation of older workers in digitalizing workplaces, paying special attention to the theoretical framework and to developments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Articles in German

Gallistl, V., Bohrn, K., Rohner, R., & Kolland, F. (2022). Doing Vulnerability: Soziale Konstruktionen des Alter (n) s während der COVID-19 Pandemie. Zeitschrift Fur Gerontologie Und Geriatrie, 1.

Background: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic old age has been “vulnerablilized” in the media by characterizing old age as a vulnerable and risky phase of life. Gerontologists have criticized the age-based definition of risk groups for their underlying agism.

Objective: From a practice-theoretical perspective the article asks through which social practices a vulnerable age is realized during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Material and method: The article refers to data from six qualitative interviews with people aged 65 and older. The data was analyzed using fine structure analysis followed by a topic analysis.

Results: The results show that during the COVID-19 pandemic doing age was characterized by a not doing or the disappearance of routinized everyday practices. For the respondents this not doing age was connected to experiencing vulnerable ageing, in which they felt physically and temporally vulnerable.

Discussion: Practices of aging during the COVID-19 pandemic have developed against the backdrop of a societal discourse that has positioned activity as an indicator of good and positive aging. At the same time few opportunities have been created to maintain activity under the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newspaper pieces in English

Esteban Calvo, John W. Rowe and Robin A. Richardson published an opition piece titled “In an ageing world, we must invest in older adults’ mental health” in The Hill. Find the full article here:


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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