Aging, Health and Life Course: Theoretical Issues and Methodological Problems. Joint Special Session of the Global Health Sociology Network: ISA RC15, ESA RN16 and ESHMS
RC11 Sociology of Aging
Joint special session of the Global Health Sociology Network: ISA RC15, ESA RN16 and ESHMS.
In most countries, life expectancy and longevity continue to rise, along with significant improvements in health also during the old age. These trends are radically destabilizing conventional notions of ageing and old age, traditionally considered as synonymous of illness and disability; even the idea of a “natural” life course following normatively and socially defined stages ending in infirmity has been challenged by biomedical developments and cultural changes. The increasingly differentiated idea of “normal” ageing rises a certain number of theoretical issues involved: to what extent a normatively based conception of life course, ageing and old age is still possible? If yes, on which biological, social, psychological and cultural basis? How can we distinguish the boundaries among the newly reconfigured domains of the “natural” and of the “normal” of one side, and of the pathological on the other side? And what is the specific contribution of sociology to an integrated gerontological approach?
Finally, healthy ageing is favourable for individuals, but also for society, reducing healthcare costs, enabling citizens to remain socially and economically active, and opening up new opportunities for social innovation.
Even at the methodological level, a number of issues can be raised: how can we integrate qualitative approaches with quantitative ones? How can we evaluate the impact of the new healthy ageing on society and healthcare systems?
We invite to present both theoretical and empirical contributions.
NOTE: The authors of the selected abstracts will be required to submit their papers in advance by June 15, 2016.
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