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Table of Contents

  • FROM THE PRESIDENT
  • NEWS FROM THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION
    • ISA RC11 Presidential Lectures
    • Call for Sessions for the V ISA Forum of Sociology “Knowing Justice in the Anthropocene”
    • ISA LinkedIn Account is now online
    • Call for proposals for ISA book series and special issues
  • CALL FOR ABSTRACTS (AS SENT TO US BY MEMBERS)
  • NEWS PIECES FROM OUR MEMBERS (AS SENT TO US BY MEMBERS)
  • NEW PUBLICATIONS BY RC11 MEMBERS (AS SENT TO US BY MEMBERS)
    • Books and Special Issues
    • Articles
    • Book Chapters
    • Book Reviews

From the President

Dear colleagues and friends,

Let me welcome you to the new RC11 newsletter. We are halfway through 2024 and conference tourism is in full swing. I hope that on your travels you will encounter
Lucie Vidovićová
inspiration and new stimuli for your research, that the long moments in airport concourses and while waiting for train connections will open your eyes to new theoretical frameworks and explanations, and that you will meet people who will help you carry your research on ageing further and deeper. We will then share all these new adventures together at our joint meeting in Rabat, Marocco next year (July 6 - 11, 2025). By the time you read these lines, the collection of proposals for the thematic sessions, which we believe will be a good basis for a good program, is closed. Thank you all who submitted their input. Between August 05 and October 15 there will then be an opportunity for all of you to submit abstracts of your papers. Please make a note of these dates in your calendars and invite colleagues to join us! The meeting of world sociologists at the world forum will be a scientific feast and aging research must be well represented there! We are preparing up to 24 sessions in a program that will be entirely in-person, no online participation will be possible this year. But there are plans for a fully online event in 2026, so stay tuned. The Rabat program promises, among other things, a sociological film festival, special sessions dedicated to professional development, and many networking opportunities. Be sure to keep an eye on our social media and the ISA website, where all the catchy "goodies" are gradually being revealed.

It may be of interest, that ISA provides registration grants for which active program participants can apply. January 31, 2025 is a deadline not to miss, if you need this type of support.

So friends and colleagues, enjoy reading this new issue, so diligently put together by Vera Gallistl-Kassing (thank you Vera!). It is full of news from you, RC11 members, and we are grateful to you for keeping our small community alive with your activities. Please don't miss the early opportunity to meet you at the first ever online Presidential lecture! See below for more information on how to register and get involved.

Age well!
Lucy
Lucie Vidovićová
ISA RC 11 President

News from the International Sociological Association

International Sociological Association Forum of Sociology, 7 July, poster

ISA RC11 Presidential Lectures


Our president Lucie Vidovicova and Francisca Ortiz are organizing the ISA RC11 Presidential lectures. All of them will be online events and will feature exciting speakers and room for discussion!

Here’s the program:
  • 1st lecture: Tuesday 24 September (4 pm UK - 5 pm CET). Professor Virpi Timonen "What do we leave behind? Studying generational legacies in comparative perspective " + Early and middle career researcher(s) (TBA).
  • 2nd lecture: Tuesday, 22 October (4 pm UK - 5 pm CET). Professor Sandra Torres.
  • 3rd lecture: Tuesday 26 November (4 pm UK - 5 pm CET). Professor Anne Martin-Matthews.
Please register via the following link: https://forms.gle/tFEVRjTXMpXWkBcc7

Call for Sessions for the V ISA Forum of Sociology “Knowing Justice in the Anthropocene”


The call for session for the V ISA Forum of Sociology has ended on July 1st. We look forward to seeing many sociologists of ageing there! Stay tuned on our website and Facebook page for updates as the event comes closer.

ISA LinkedIn Account is now online


ISA has expanded its digital presence and is now officially on LinkedIn! Connect with ISA at LinkedIn here.

Call for proposals for ISA book series and special issues


Two major publication outlets related to ISA are looking for contributions (monographs and special issues):
  1. SAGE Studies in International Sociology
  2. Current Sociology Monographs
Their new editor, Professor Joy Zhang, invites all colleagues at RC11 to consider turning our Research Committee discussions into publications through these outlets. The journals especially welcome innovative formats that leverage the length of a book. They also encourage colleagues to consider small group co-authored volumes (2-4 authors), allowing for an in-depth dialogical investigation of a specific topic.

If you are interested in engaging in one of these publication formats, let Vera Gallistl (vera.gallistl@kl.ac.at) know.

Call for abstracts (as sent to us by members)


Call for papers: “Frailty, Illness, and Health in Deep Old Age: Perspectives from Medical Sociology and Social Gerontology”

Call for papers: “Frailty, Illness, and Health in Deep Old Age" posted
Please find more information about this one-day conference organized by Susan Pickard and Paul Higgs below or on the center’s website: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/.../centre-ageing-life.../about/

Call for papers: 4th ENAS and NANAS Conference / 6th ENAS Conference: Ageing, Old Age, and Intergenerational Relationships through Narrative and Practice: Challenging Ageism


Held at the Universitat de Lleida, Catalonia, Spain, “Ageing, Old Age, and Intergenerational Relationships through Narrative and Practice: Challenging Ageism” is the fourth joint conference organized by the European Network of Aging Studies (ENAS) and the North American Network of Aging Studies (NANAS) and the sixth ENAS Conference.

It invites researchers, writers, and scholars within age and ageing studies to share their research and establish a fruitful dialogue around “ageism and intergenerational relationships” as well as other related topics. Intergenerational exchanges may contribute to deconstructing negative cultural narratives of ageing by creating more inclusive meanings of old age, and advancing social change through the promotion of a better understanding of the life course and, thus, providing opportunities for mutual support and care.

Moreover, promoting generational dialogue and cooperation may be the first steps to build a sustainable society in which interdependence among generations is a source of richness rather than a form of exclusion.

Organized over 3 days, from 9 to 11 April 2025, the members of research Group Dedal-Lit-CELCA welcome you to explore our historical campus, enjoy the vibrancy of our city, and establish lasting connections with colleagues within the age and ageing studies field.
The Conference will be located in the Rectorat Campus, Pl. Víctor Siurana, Universitat de Lleida.

Deadline for the call for papers is July 30th, 2024. Find out more about the conference here: https://enasnanaslleida2025.com/

Call for papers: “Life Course and Everyday Life of Older People Living in Poverty”


Title of the event: Life Course and Everyday Life of Older People Living in Poverty

When: November 28th and 29th, 2024

Where: Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Fee: No fee

Abstract: Please send the abstract, no longer than 300 words and up to 6 keywords, to symposium@fsd.uni-lj.si

Important dates:
  • Abstract submission by September 15, 2024.
  • Notification of acceptance by September 30, 2024
About: Old-age poverty is defined as the accumulation of structural inequalities (in terms of educational attainment, household type, health, employment history, caring responsibilities, etc.) and intersecting statuses (gender, ethnicity, disability, etc.). The complexity of the sources of inequality that manifest themselves in poverty is the result of a historical development and cannot be explained in the context of the current situation alone. This is why a life course perspective is essential when studying poverty. The phenomenon of poverty in old age needs to be examined by considering the effects at the structural level, at the level of cultural patterns, and at the level of public policies in a longitudinal perspective. The main aim of the symposium is to explore how the welfare state over time (since the end of World War II) defines, standardizes, and frames the lives of older people living in poverty and how it influences the choices older people make over their life-course. Furthermore, by examining the processes and events in the lives of older people that have affected their social status in old age, this symposium seeks to identify the key factors that need to be taken into account when developing measures, regulations and policies to reduce poverty.

The themes:
  • The interconnectedness of the welfare state, the life course and the daily lives of older people.
  • How (social) policy measures (e.g. pension or labor policies) influence and regulate poverty and what are the consequences in later life; How living in two political systems (socialism, capitalism) affects income in old age.
  • How gender-specific differences arise and how these differences affect poverty in old age among women.
  • How life trajectories are determined (education, employment, partnership, caring responsibilities, etc.) and what influences them.

The Programme at a glance:
28th November

8.30 Registration
9.00 Opening speeches
9.15 Keynote speech
10.15 Break
10.30 Panel discussion
12.00 Lunch break
13.00 Keynote speech
14.00 Break
14.15 Panel discussion
15.45 End of first day
29th November

9.00 Keynote speech
10.00 Break
10.15 Panel discussion
11.45 Lunch Break
12.45 Keynote speech
13.45 Break
14.00 Panel discussion
15.30 Concluding remarks

News pieces from our members (as sent to us by members)


Sayendri Panchadhyayi, a visiting faculty at the National Law school of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, India has the following updates to share with peers and colleagues
  1. On 5th May, 2023 she won the best paper award at the Second Global South Graduate Student Conference organized by Center for Social Science Research, George Mason University, USA. The prize includes a cash prize of 300 USD, a certificate and an opportunity for publication. The conference theme was on "Staying Alive: Precarity and Survival in the Global South". More information on the conference and Sayendri's paper can be accessed here: https://cssr.gmu.edu/events/14121.
  2. She has delivered an invited talk virtually on her doctoral work related to ayah-intervened care practices for urban older-adults in contemporary India by 'The Ayah and Amah International Research Network' based out of London School of Economics and Political Science scheduled for 29.09.2023. More information about the research group can be accessed here: https://www.lse.ac.uk/International-Inequalities/Research/Global-Economies-of-Care/Ayah-and-Amah-International-Research-Network.
  3. She has been invited to submit a full-length manuscript (based on a competitive selection of abstracts) to Mortality (Taylor and Francis, Scopus indexed) on the theme of 'Innovation at the end of life' to commemorate the 20th anniversary of CDAS in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath. More information can be accessed here: https://www.bath.ac.uk/announcements/call-for-papers-for-special-issue-of-mortality-innovation-at-the-end-of-life/
  4. She has also been invited to participate (virtually) in a roundtable discussion on the topic of ‘Care in Crisis’, organized by Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling and the Montreal History Group in 24th November 2023. More information can be found here: https://www.concordia.ca/cuevents/artsci/storytelling/2023/11/24/roundtable-discussion-and-closing-event-covid-in-the-house-of-old-care-in-crisis.html


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



Books and special issues


Book cover, A Research Agenda for Ageing and Social Policy
A Research Agenda for Ageing and Social Policy, edited by Kai Leichsenring and Alexandre Sidorenko

Foreword by Alan Walker, Professor of Social Policy and Social Gerontology, University of Sheffield, UK. Written by a global collective of scholars from a wide variety of backgrounds, including health studies, psychology and economics as well as social policy and gerontology, this timely Research Agenda highlights the challenges and opportunities of rising longevity and population ageing for social policy providing clear directions for future research.

Find out more here!

Articles


Akram, O. (2024). Othering and agency erosion of older adults living in extreme poverty in Bangladesh. Journal of Aging Studies, 70, 101237.

Offering fresh perspectives on the lived experience of ageing in extreme poverty, this article delves into unpacking the relationally driven processes of social, institutional, and self-othering that contribute to agency erosion in older adults. Positing that the context of extreme poverty in which a person ages is micropolitically shaped, where society, institutions, and ageing self interact in a complex way, it is argued that ageing in extreme poverty, inter alia, means ageing in subaltern conditions. A critical consequence of this process is the subjugation of older adults, leading to a life marked by the state of ‘social death’. Additional research is needed to unpack such nuances to better understand ageing processes in extreme poor societies. This necessitates an approach informed by postcolonial perspectives that take into account the dynamics of othering and agency erosion. It concludes by asserting that to reverse extreme poverty among older adults as well as to reverse their subaltern conditions requires a political project that empowers the older adults in society, restores agency and strengthens their ‘relational security’.

Cabib, I., Yopo Díaz, M., Biehl, A., Cereceda, T., Ormeño, J. P., & Ortiz, F. (2024). Biographies of uncertainty regulation in the labor market and extension of working life in Chile. Work, Aging and Retirement, waae006. https://academic.oup.com/workar/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/workar/waae006/7666775?redirectedFrom=fulltext

Despite lacking policies targeting the extension of working life, Chile is the Latin American country that has exhibited the largest increase in the labor force participation rate of people aged 65+ in the last two decades. In this research, following an analytical framework on regulation of endogenous uncertainty and relying on rich qualitative data (life story interviews of 90 older workers aged 60–86, across 21 cities and 6 regions), we approached the complexity of extended working lives in Chile by addressing an unexplored dimension. Specifically, we explore individuals’ agency over their employment trajectories (i.e., both in adulthood and old age) among those who remained active in the labor market after the legal retirement age. Our findings provide strong evidence that extended working lives not only result from precarious social conditions, but are also shaped by complex processes involving both expansive and adaptive individual agency in which people engaged throughout their life course. Therefore, the high exogenous uncertainty in the labor market should not merely be interpreted from the perspective of “precarity,” but also as a scenario that encouraged individuals to behave in a way that led them to engage in the labor force across their lives in accordance with their preferred level of endogenous uncertainty.

Gallistl, V., Banday, M. U. L., Berridge, C., Grigorovich, A., Jarke, J., Mannheim, I., ... & Peine, A. (2024). Addressing the Black Box of AI–A Model and Research Agenda on the Co-Constitution of Aging and Artificial Intelligence. The Gerontologist, gnae039.

Algorithmic technologies and (large) data infrastructures, often referred to as Artificial Intelligence (AI), have received increasing attention from gerontological research in the last decade. Although there is much literature that dissects and explores the development, application, and evaluation of AI relevant to gerontology, this study makes a novel contribution by critically engaging with the theorizing in this growing field of research. We observe that gerontology’s engagement with AI is shaped by an interventionist logic that situates AI as a black box for gerontological research. We demonstrate how this black box logic has neglected many aspects of AI as a research topic for gerontology and discuss three classical concepts in gerontology to show how they can be used to open various black boxes of aging and AI in the areas: (a) the datafication of aging, (b) the political economy of AI and aging, and (c) everyday engagements and embodiments of AI in later life. In the final chapter, we propose a model of the co-constitution of aging and AI that makes theoretical propositions to study the relational terrain between aging and AI and hence aims to open the black box of AI in gerontology beyond interventionist logic.

Gerdina, Otto and Slavko Kurdija (2024): Ageism in Slovenia: Assessing Differences Between 2008 and 2022. Annales, Series Historia et Sociologia, 34(1): XX-XX. (In press)

Ageism is one of the most widespread forms of discrimination in Europe and one of the mechanisms for generating social inequalities, which is why it is essential to monitor its prevalence. This paper compared the prevalence of ageism in Slovenia in 2008 and in 2022 based on data from round four of the European Social Survey (ESS; 2008) and the ESS web panel survey Cronos-2 (2022). The comparison showed that attitudes towards older people remained relatively positive, that there was an increase in the proportion of people who reported perceiving ageism and that there was a slight increase in awareness of the magnitude of the problem. At the three focus points we observed, gender emerged as a key demographic variable with a statistically significant impact.

Gedvilaitė-Kordušienė, M., & Rapolienė, G. (2023). Digital Engagement of Older Adults in Lithuania: Obstacles and Support Opportunities. Socialinė Teorija, Empirija, Politika Ir Praktika, 27, 38-57. https://doi.org/10.15388/STEPP.2023.27.3

While Lithuania advances rapidly in the ICT sector, a digital divide persists among older adults. A study of 289 elderly Internet users highlighted key barriers and facilitators in digital engagement. Motivation stemmed from personal qualities like curiosity and past work experience with digital tools. Major barriers included language challenges, technical jargon, limited support, device comprehension issues, and emotional factors. Formal and informal training, peer support, gaming‘s role, and family, particularly younger members, emerged as crucial learning aids. The study underscores the need for strategies tailored to enhance digital inclusion of older people in Lithuania.

Endter, C., Gallistl, V., Peine, A., & Wanka, A. (2024). Age assemblages: Sociotechnical innovations and successful age (ing) from the perspective of material gerontology. Zeitschrift fur Gerontologie und Geriatrie.

Individual-centered approaches have for a long time defined the gerontological involvement with technology. Despite an approach that expands in terms of space (e.g., neighborhood approaches) or social networks (e.g., caring communities), these approaches are characterized by centering on people as working alone. Material gerontological approaches attempt to theoretically and empirically address this entanglement of humans and technology by decentralizing the human and conceptualizing agency as being distributed among human and nonhuman agents. Drawing on ongoing debates in material gerontology a concept of age assemblages is developed with which age(ing) can be understood as a process distributed between older people, objects, technologies and spaces. At the same time this involves how such theoretical concepts can be applied in the practice of sociotechnical innovations in order to promote successful ageing. Based on various empirical research studies, the article exemplifies a material gerontological perspective. It is shown how an expansion of gerontology towards more than human worlds of age(ing) can be conceived. The focus is on (1) a decentralization of age(ing) towards "age assemblages", (2) a broadening of the individual human to a distributed more than human agency and, as a result, (3) a shift in the boundaries of research phenomena in gerontology. The article closes with reflections on what the developed concept of age assemblages means for gerontological research and practice.

Mikulionienė, S. (2023). The Negative Impact of Poor Health on Civic Participation in Older Adults of the Baltics. 9th International Interdisciplinary Scientific Conference “Society. Health. Welfare“, 29–31 March 2023 at Rīga Stradiņš University. EDP Sciences, WEB of Conferences, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/202418403004

Civic participation as a specific subtype of social participation in later life has received little attention from researchers. How to maintain the well-being and health of older adults through their involvement in the community is crucial to understand the prevalence of civic participation in older age, especially for those in poor health. This study fills the gap in knowledge on the relationship between the civic participation of older adults in the Baltics and their health status. The data come from a quantitative survey of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia’s residents aged 50 years and older (N = 2015) conducted in 2019-2020. Data were analysed based on Serratet et al. [1] concept of civic activity and health status, using descriptive statistics and multinomial regression analysis. The results show that the profile of civic participation people aged 50+ is asymmetrical: 1) individual rather than collective and social rather than political participation is prevalent, and 2) poor health limits the participation of older adults in almost every civic activity (especially those that are more resource-intensive). The research results can be helpful for social policymakers and practitioners (social workers).

Panchadhyayi, S. (2021). Gender, widowhood and female solidarity: A study on female friendships of later-life widows. Research on Ageing and Social Policy, 9(1), 26-50. https://doi.org/10.17583/rasp.2020.5053

Friendship is an intrinsic aspect of living across generations. However, the significance of friendship for the silver generation has received limited attention from gerontological studies in India. Considering that widowhood is accompanied by loneliness, bereavement and stigma, I am interested to understand the implications of widowhood for elderly women and to what extent friendship has the potential in countering and negotiating with ageing and widowhood. This is further important in demystifying the myth of transient nature of female friendship and illuminate on the spaces of female solidarity. The study has incorporated qualitative interviewing and oral narratives administered through semi-structured questionnaire conducted in the setting of the respective residence of the respondents. It was found that the social context of ageing and the structural context shape the experiences of friendship. Friendship can be low maintenance for these women; however a friend is one through interaction with whom one derives equanimity contentment and meaning for leading life without the presence of spouse. They challenged the notion of normative understanding of friendship by identifying kin members sometimes across generations as friends. Female friendship is not fragile and they feel that it is more intense and laden with emotions compared to male friendship.

Rapoliene, G., Gedvilaite-Kordusiene, M., & Tretjakova, V. (2024). Barriers of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): Narratives of Older Users and Their Facilitators. Romanian Journal of Communication and Public Relations, 25(3), 7–23. https://doi.org/10.21018/rjcpr.2023.3.443

As world populations are ageing, more attention is given to the social and digital inclusion of older people. The level of ICT non-use among older adults in Lithuania is significantly higher than in Western European countries. In 2023, 29% of the Lithuanian population aged 65–74 had never used the Internet, while in most Western countries, this share varied between 2 and 8%. Insufficient research efforts in Eastern and Central Europe prompted this study to explore the barriers to ICT use in Lithuania based on qualitative semi-structured interviews with older users (N=36) and their facilitators (N=9). The difficulties revealed by the study are divided into three groups. First, the participants found it difficult to adjust to the technologies as a unique system (to understand its specific principles of functioning, to deal with information on English and technical language). Second, their psychological relationship with the unknown and complex subject have caused some problems, as they faced a spectrum of fears, insecurity, the shame of not knowing, the experience of one’s limitations, lack of patience. Third, changes that informants relate to old age like diminishing motivation to engage with innovations, learning difficulties, and bodily changes (sensitivity of fingers, weakening sight and memory) constituted additional barriers for older ICT users. To overcome the barriers, access to mentoring and consulting would be beneficial.

Book Chapters


Aulenbacher, Brigitte; Prieler, Veronika (2024) The ‘good agency’? On the interplay of formalization and informality in the contested marketization of live-in care in Austria. In: Aulenbacher, Brigitte; Lutz, Helma; Palenga-Möllenbeck, Ewa; Schwiter, Karin (eds.) Home Care for Sale. The Transnational Brokering of Senior Care in Europe. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, Singapore: Sage, 79–94.

Blažienė I., Moskvina J., Brazienė R., Mikulionienė, S. (2023). Lietuvos gyventojų užimtumas. Kn. Maslauskaitė A., (sud.) Lietuvos gyventojų demografinių struktūrų ir procesų kaita, LSMC, Vilnius, pp. 93-118.

Mikulionienė, S. (2023). Demografinis senėjimas. Kn. Maslauskaitė A., (sud.) Lietuvos gyventojų demografinių struktūrų ir procesų kaita, LSMC, Vilnius, pp. 33-64.
Panchadhyayi, S. (2022). Cartographies of Caring: Time, Temporality and Caring in Pandemic. In Kupfer A. & Stutz, C. (Eds.), International Gender Perspectives on Re/Production, State and Feminist Transitions (pp. 123-136), Opladen, Germany: Barbara Budrich Publishers. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv2crj1g3.10

Prieler, Veronika (2024) Emotional support, matchmaking, and administrative services as care work. Intermediaries’ role in relocating seniors to care homes abroad. In: Atzmüller, Roland; Binner, Kristina; Décieux, Fabienne; Deindl, Raphael; Grubner, Johanna; Kreissl, Katharina (eds.) Gesellschaft in Transformation. Sorge, Kämpfe und Kapitalismus. Weinheim, Basel: Beltz Juventa, 89–98.

Book Reviews


Panchadhyayi, S. (2024). Book Review: Care and Support Rights after Neoliberalism: Balancing Competing Claims through Policy and Law by Yvette Maker (2022). International Journal of Care and Caring, 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1332/23978821Y2024D000000032

Panchadhyayi, S. (2024). Book Review: Care Poverty: When Older People’s Needs Remain Unmet. Anthropology & Aging, 45(1), 57-60. https://doi.org/10.5195/aa.2024.512

PRESIDENT

Lucie Vidovićová, Masaryk University, Czech Republic

VICE-PRESIDENTS

Myra Hamilton, University of New South Wales, Australia

TREASURER

Jolante Perek-Bialas, Jagiellonian University, Poland

SECRETARY

Francisca Ortiz Ruiz, Millennium Institute for Care Research, Chile

COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER

Vera Gallistl, Karl Landsteiner University for Health Sciences, Austria

OFFICERS AT LARGE

Ronica Rooks, University of Colorado Denver, USA
Matthew Lariviere, Northumbria University, UK
Gražina Rapolienė, Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences, Lithuania
Otto Gerdina, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Yasemin Afacan, Bilkent University, Turkey
Arvind Joshi, Banaras Hindu University, India
Esteban Calvo, Director CalvoLab & University Mayor, Chile
Eric Vogelsang, California State University, San Bernardino, USA
Christine Armstrong Mair, University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA
Bussarawan Puk Teerawichitchainan, National University of Singapore, Singapore

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