Featured Publications of RC11 Members

Hosokawa, F. (2016). Aging as a Developmental Perspective. Journal of Sociology, 4(2), 28-37. DOI: 10.15640/jssw.v4n2a4.

This paper was presented in July 2016 at the ISA Forum in Vienna, Austria, by Fumiko Hosokawa PhD Professor of Sociology, California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Much of aging seems to be based on the assumption that when you get old, you become a different person than when you were young, like your identity changes in some dramatic way. There is also the assumption that when you get old, it is a real challenge to do aging well like it takes some great art or major technology to help you out. If you don't do aging well, then you miss out on "successful aging."
This article deals with how individuals perceive their aging as they enter the middle years of life and also the older years. Instead of assuming that aging will be negative and less satisfying than the younger years, the author is inquiring about the way people associate aging with certain things that are going on in their lives like physical changes, negative reactions from society, cultural beliefs about aging in their society, and their ability to be useful and productive.
Aging is more about value change whether one succeeds at it or not. By interviewing two groups of individuals--those middle age and those older--one can see that aging can make your life different based on your changing perceptions of aging, but it doesn't necessarily change who you are. The relevance of these findings and conclusions to the study of aging is that physical and mental health is not as critical to how we perceive ourselves aging as are the cultural norms and expectations of our society that determine what is useful and valuable about human beings.
Photo of Fumiko Hosokawa

Call for Papers

Call for Papers - Social Studies

Authors are invited to submit a paper to the journal Social Studies (published by Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University) with working title:

Community and space in social exclusion in later life.
Deadline for full papers is 31st October 2017.

Read more


Inequalities and families: An interdisciplinary perspective

Committee on Family Research, RC06, ISA Mexico City 29, 30 November and 1 December 2017.

Latin America remains the most unequal region in the world. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), by 2014, the richest 10% of the population in Latin America had concentrated 71% of the wealth of the region. Women and children, young and older, ethnic communities suffer the most unequal distribution of wealth in the region. Inequalities are always in plural, as there are inequalities in access to education, inequalities in access to health services, gender inequalities, intergenerational inequalities, work inequalities based on different conditions and access to labour, inequalities of living standards, inequalities on access to cultural activities, inequalities based on colour of skin, among others.

Inequalities create disadvantaged that accumulate from generation to generation, from past to the present. They reproduce and remain in spite of government and non-government actions and policies. Are we doomed for living in inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean? That is the question which brings researchers on family issues to Mexico City to rethink and take actions on inequalities. Particularly, the Committee on Family Research must confront these issues and create analytical framework of understanding global issues. Rethinking inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean will contribute to achieve understandings of inequalities in Asia, Africa, North America and Europe, and vice versa. We share the same global problems: social exclusions, unsustainable development, climate change, the ambivalent role of technology in our lives, and negative effects of economic system.

Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC clearly stressed: “equality is the goal”. Let our meeting in Mexico City create the path of structural change in theory and practice on inequalities and families.

ISA RC06 Local Organizing Committee, UNAM Mexico City

RC11 Sessions - ISA World Congress 2018, Toronto

Session: Socio-Gerontechnology – Theorizing the Digital Life Worlds of Older People

This session invites submissions that theoretically or empirically reflect ageing in digital environments and researchers who would like to expand the theoretical development in this field. The aim of this session is to critically explore the theoretical contribution of various sociological theories of ageing to the study of ageing and technologies."

Session: The Future of Ageing Societies

Population ageing will continue into the future, changing societies in various ways. For example, pensions and health care services are reformed, family care arrangements are re-negotiated, new products are developed, and new identities emerge. This session will discuss possible futures and how we can best prepare for them.

Session: New Perspectives on Aging Futures

Stephen Katz is organizing and inviting abstracts for a RC11 session on 'new perspectives on aging futures'. Topics for presentations can be diverse, such as the global ‘futurity’ of aging populations, biomedicalization of longevity and anti-aging technologies, aging research into future and intergenerational ethics, post-traditional life-courses, temporalities and standards of aging, new spaces of risk, inequality and uncertainty, and more. The aim of the session is to expand critical scholarship that looks at what future possibilities lay ahead in the governance of aging processes.

Session: Later Life (Im)Mobilities and Familial Care: Policies and Practices : Susan Braedley and Karine Côté-Boucher

This session aims to bring together those working on policies and practices related to late life migration, family re-unification and the reorganization of elder care arrangements. How are transnational families organizing parent and grandparent care in light of rapidly shifting immigration regimes and global migration flows? How do these families negotiate the often perplexing array of old age income security, health care and immigration policies, organize contact and care, or experience inter-generational disconnections? How do policies shape these experiences, and according to what visions of care, family, gender, nation and citizenship? We hope to generate an informal international network to exchange perspectives, identify research gaps and bring together critical perspectives on these questions!

Photo of a lady talking on the phone

Session: Caring of Elderly by their Families: Roles and Challenges in Ageing Societies

Family care on elderly can be a genuinely rewarding experience; the caregivers often face common challenges that leave them overwhelmed, anxious and also scared by their duties. Conflicts may arise on various issues such as health care decisions, financial and living arrangements or communication. This session is therefore a timely opportunity to review the study on the evolving roles of family members in care giving to elderly members, impact of assuming these roles and the challenges faced by middle and working class families in the developing nations. For this session, abstracts are invited addressing the broad theme of family care of the elderly.

Photo of an Indian family across several generations

Session: Old-Age Social Exclusion:
New Sociological Questions for Heterogeneous Ageing Societies

We invite authors from various backgrounds to join us in discussion on exclusion in later life at the 2018 ISA Toronto Congress session "Old-Age Social Exclusion: New Sociological Questions for Heterogeneous Ageing Societies".

Please read more about the session at:

Photo of an older person on a motobike

Session: Aging and the Print Media

Members are warmly invited to submit abstracts for this panel, which aims to explore diverse elements of the relationship between aging and the print media. Thematic content analyses of magazines, newspapers and books are welcome, but also sought are papers that will include either novel media forms (e.g., greeting cards or comics), less common approaches to the subject (e.g., involving audience reception or visual methods), or a focus on understudied and/or marginalized populations (e.g., racialized, LGBTQ or faith-based communities, or those who are aging with disabilities).

For more information please contact Dana Sawchuk, Wilfrid Laurier University,

Close up photo of magazines on top of one another

Session: Care and Social Justice

Global Innovations in Home and Long-Term Care

Home and long-term care systems are under strain. Critical scholarship illuminates how care infrastructure can reinforce social inequalities. This session will spotlight innovations in home and long-term care policy and practice that demonstrate the potential to achieve both formal policy aims and social justice through the organization of care.

Session: Grandparenting

Hi, my name is Virpi Timonen, I work at Trinity College Dublin and will be chairing the session on Grandparenting in Toronto!

I am currently co-editing a second book on grandparenting practices across global contexts, following on from the success of the Contemporary grandparenting book that I co-edited with Sara Arber in 2012. I am keen to meet even more people who have an active research interest in grandparenting, whether it is at conceptual/theoretical level, or through quantitative or qualitative research, and look forward to reading your abstract and hopefully meeting in Toronto.

Photo of Virpi Timonen

Session: The Paradox of 'Successful Ageing'.
The Challenges of Increased Longevity in 'New' Ageing Populations.

Alongside growing recognition of population ageing is the lesser recognised but socially important transformation of the life expectancies of groups of people who historically had limited life expectancy. These groups are disparate in terms of condition or emergence (e.g. cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, HIV, Thalidomide survivors) yet share commonalities not only in the recent rapid extension of life but also in experiencing the onset of new health conditions and disabilities. This session seeks to address the nature and range of these ‘new’ ageing populations in light of sociological thinking and to explore the paradox of ‘successful’ ageing among these groups. Topics include not only health but also social roles, representations and identities; employment, leisure and retirement; relationships and care; and corporeality and embodiment. We welcome contributions from researchers addressing any aspect of this theme.

Session: The Ageing and the Digital
Key Themes, Future Agendas

Wendy Martin, Brunel University London
Barb Marshall, Trent University, Canada

We have organized this session to bring together a wide range of sociological work – both theoretical and empirical – that explores the ways in which the contemporary proliferation of digital devices and technologies in global, networked societies is shaping experiences of ageing.

Digital technologies permeate everyday life and have become interwoven with our identities, narratives, social relationships, social networks, lifestyles and societies. While tired stereotypes of older people as uninterested or unskilled users of digital technologies have waned, concerns over a digital divide remain, and there is still limited research into the ways in which people in mid to later life incorporate digital technologies and communications into their daily lives and their own meanings, embodiment and experiences of the digital as they grow older.

We envision this session as a timely opportunity to review what we know about the ageing and the digital, identify gaps, and suggest future challenges and possibilities. We are particularly interested in papers which critically explore the opportunities that people in mid to later life have to engage with and resist digital technologies in everyday life; how narratives surrounding engagement (or not) with digital technologies both challenge and reinforce ideas about ageing (and youth) in complex and, at times, contradictory ways; and the diversity of experiences and meanings surrounding digital and communication technologies for people as they grow older.

Photo of an older lady using a laptop

Virpi Timonen, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland


Julie McMullin, The University of Western Ontario, Canada
Merril Silverstein, Syracuse University, United States


Lucie Vidovicová, Masaryk University, Czech Republic


Esteban Calvo, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile


Ignacio Madero-Cabib, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile


Libby Brooke, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Giuseppina Cersosimo, University of Salerno, Italy
Andreas Hoff, Zittau-Goerlitz University, Germany
Jacob John Kattakayam, University of Kerala, India
Kathrin Komp, University of Helsinki, Finland
Carole-Lynne Le Navenec, University of Calgary, Canada
Wendy Martin, Brunel University, UK
Shirley Nuss, United States
Debora Price, University of Manchester, UK
Ronica Rooks, University of Colorado Denver, United States
Sandra Torres, Uppsala University, Sweden