Call for papers : Ageing in place in a mobile world: new media and older people’s support networks
ISA World Forum of Sociology, Vienna, July 2016
Joint Session: RC 31 Migration (host) & RC 11 Ageing
Organised by: Loretta Baldassar (UWA); Paolo Boccagni (Trento); Majella Kilkey (Sheffield); Laura Merla (UCL) and Raelene Wilding (La Trobe)
In this session we wish to consider mobilities and technologies as a new paradigm for reassessing approaches to healthy ageing. For example, while notions of ‘ageing in place’ (e.g. Olsberg & Winters 2005; Bhat & Dhruvarajan 2001) and ‘community dwelling’ (e.g. Andrews & Phillips 2005; Broe et al 2002) represent important contributions to knowledge, the concepts of ‘place’ and ‘community’ in such studies tend to assume strong – even exclusive – ties to proximate family, friends and local communities (Fry 2005). We welcome papers that consider how the recent proliferation of a wide range of affordable communication technologies is central to important transformations in our social and intimate lives, with a particular focus on what these new media mean for ageing and the importance of ‘ageing in place’. Access to social networks and a capacity to belong with and engage with other people is now understood to be one of the most significant indicators of healthy ageing (e.g. Tomaka et al 2006; Avlund et al 2004; Glass et al 2006; Mendes de Leon et al 2003). Importantly, the extraordinary uptake of new communication technologies means that social activities, social interactions and a sense of belonging are no longer limited to local, proximate networks and communities. The research on ‘ageing in place’ includes a growing number of studies advocating attention to such factors as availability of appropriate housing, transport and health services, as well as the ability to access good quality food and engage in social activities and interactions. This latter factor, social interactions and activities, is emerging as particularly important, with recent research indicating that the notion of ageing in place may be putting too much emphasis on attachment to ‘place’, and insufficient attention to the desire to ‘attach’ to people (Hillcoat-Nalletamby & Ogg 2013; Wiles et al 2011).
Questions to consider include:
- How is the emerging polymedia environment transforming the ways in which the elderly experience ageing in place?
- In what ways is the social (and even intimate) life of the elderly no longer conducted wholly ‘in place’, within neat physical and territorial boundaries?
- How can ideas about ‘ageing in place’ be conceived of as incorporating distant ties and connections?
- How are mobile lives lived by elderly bodies that are located in particular places ?
- In what ways can new media be used to support those who are ‘ageing in place’, including by supporting their social networks and interactions with family and friends who are mobile or living at a distance?
- Is the thesis of ‘ageing in place’ simply about being supported to remain in a specific geographic location or is it best understood as an embodied and culturally informed experience of location that is shaped by social interactions that can be face-to-face or mediated, local or distant?
Submission deadline : 30 September 2015. Abstracts of max 300 words should be submitted online through this link :http://www.isa-sociology.org/forum-2016/
Accepted participants for oral presentation and distributed papers will be notified in early December. Full papers will be due by 30 March 2016, and will be considered for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Transnational Social Review. Please note that only original contributions will be considered for publication.
To facilitate discussion and exchanges during the session, full papers will be circulated in advance to session participants and each paper will be assigned a discussant.