Research Training Group „Age(ing): Cultural Concepts and Practical Realisations“ (Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf)
The categories „age“
and „ageing“ are currently gaining high relevance in society as well as
tremendous attention in different fields of science because of the demographic
changes. Age(ing) is not only a biological and social fact but also a cultural
one. The Research Training Group „Age(ing): Cultural Concepts and Practical
Realisations“ (RTG) distinguishes itself by an integrated concept which interconnects
scientific discourses from the arts and humanities, social, legal and medical
as well as economic fields of study. RTG thus aims to examine age(ing) as an
outcome of knowledge and cultural practice and to develop strategies to deal productively
with age(ing). By analysing and reflecting on historic and current discourses,
meaning and coherence of life, body and society can be consciously processed
and prepared for the implementation of practical applications. However, transdisciplinary
research on age(ing) remains the ultimate goal to be achieved by connecting
natural, medical, legal, social and cultural scientific discourses.
RGT‘s transdisciplinary research on age(ing) will not only bring together different scientific approaches; it will moreover generate solutions for an ageing society. The programme will analyse different cultural and social concepts and effects of age and ageing in order to subsequently generate practical solutions for the aging society based on its research.
An ageing society demands changes in products and services. Thus the postgraduate students have to be prepared for a business world with mixed levels of age and ageing staff. RTG will meet these tasks by project/practice-oriented forms of teaching and by conveying meta-disciplinary competences, which will help students to develop problem-related solutions.
Financed by the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
SIforAGE: Social Innovation on active and healthy ageing for sustainable economic growth (Grup Dedal-Lit, University of Lleida)
The general aim of SIforAGE project will be to strengthen the cooperation
mechanisms and tools among the stakeholders working along the value chain of
active and healthy ageing, with the aim of improving the performance of the
European Union competitiveness and growth, through research and innovative
products for more and better lives.
The objective is change minds and attitudes for a new vision of ageing. This new way of understanding ageing has been embraced under the concept of “active and healthy ageing” (AHA), as an inclusive term to framework the transformation of ageing vision.
The specific objectives addressed in the project will be:
1. To develop the supporting tools and mechanisms for the Social Innovation Incubator on AHA
2. To engage and empower society and civil society organisations in research on AHA.
3. To introduce evidence-based policymaking, through training activities with policymakers, to address future shaping of ageing research programmes and funding schemes
4. To raise awareness among the scientific community on the importance of social responsibility and ethics in ageing research, and offer practical guidance on how to address them.
5. To analyse and improve the existing mechanisms for accessing the market of innovative products and solutions for older people
6. To actively involve the wide range of stakeholders of the value chain and spread knowledge generated along the project duration
The consortium involved in the project is compounded of 20 different partners at EU and International level, representing a remarkable well-balanced consortium with complementary backgrounds and expertise and representing different stakeholders along the value chain of ageing research, from universities, civil society organisations, final users groups, think tanks, public administrations, technology research centers and companies. As member of the European Network in Ageing Studies (ENAS), the Dedal-Lit Reseach Group (UdL) is part of the SIforAGE consortium.
This project secured funding under the EU Seventh Framework Program (Theme: Science in Society, Mobilisation and Mutual Learning (MML) Action Plans: mainstreaming SiS actions in research)
Aging and Gender in Contemporary Literary Creativity in English (Grup Dedal-Lit, University of Lleida)
looks into the ways in which aging and gender specificity interact in the
literary works of aged women writers, and, at the same time, enquires into
works of literary creation that contribute to the questioning of negative
constructions and stereotypes of aging and to the emphasizing of the
heterogeneity that characterizes the experience of aging. With this revision of
traditional, negative and homogenizing constructs, an extensive range of
representations of aging is opened up, representations that may be extrapolated
and propagated in wider sectors of the present-day population.
Taking these complementary hypotheses as a point of departure, this project analyses the effects deriving from longevity and gender identity through the study of a number of contemporary women authors with an international dimension who have continued to write in their over-60s. In particular, our research will center on the late writing of American, British and Irish women authors representative of advanced and aging societies like our own and it will seek an answer to questions such as: What changes in the writing process of a woman author in her late age? Are thematic or formal changes observed which may also contribute to a new phase of experimentation in late age? Up to what point can these changes differ from those presented in the work of men writers of similar age and situation? In what way can literary creation modify individual and socio-cultural perceptions of the women writers' identity as a woman in late age? Beyond the literary field, our project will seek to undermine stereotypes of passivity which often have been associated with late-aging and with women. For this reason, our research will also be useful in other fields of study, such as gerontology, psychology and sociology, and in each of these disciplines from the perspective of gender studies.
Financed by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity
The Performance of Age Identities in Online Dating 50 plus (CGD, Maastricht University)
dating sites, as ‘marketplaces’ to advertise oneself and to seek desired
others, seem to offer an efficient way of finding new love. Contrary to ageist
assumptions that stigmatize older people as being asexual, socially withdrawn,
and resistant to technological innovations such as computers and the Internet,
it is increasingly common for older singles to search for dates and romance via
online dating services. In a culture that is pervaded by the discourses of
consumerism and ‘successful aging,’ the proactive search for a new partner via
a dating service can be considered as a move towards personal fulfillment.
Taking the initiative by putting oneself on the ‘single market’ does, however,
also come with uncomfortable effects, especially for the older generation. The
objectifying nature of online dating requires users to enact attractive
versions of their Selves. Youth, associated with fun, energy, sexuality,
intensity and hope, is commonly considered to constitute a ‘good selling
point.’ Old age in contrast, associated with loss and decline, seems inherently
unattractive. For older people, the negotiation of their age becomes a crucial
and complicating aspect of their self-presentation.
To scrutinize these dynamics, and the many ways in which age identities are negotiated within the enabling constrains posed by various cultural and technological scripts, this project understands autobiographical acts in online dating as performative. It investigates how dating services (as producers), dating sites (as technological artifact) and older online daters (as users) play part in the culturally situated performance of age identities. Situated in the field of Aging Studies, the project seeks to raise critical awareness for dating and courtship amongst the older generation. In addition, insights about the ways in which older users of dating services engage with the technologies will provide an idea about how this group relates to contemporary technological culture.
is funded by the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht
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Call for Papers: Aging Studies Series Vol.IX
The trace of age and memory in contemporary narrative
ENAS Association founded
ENAS was formally established as an association on October 27, 2013.
Aging, Narrative, and Performance: Essays from the Humanities
A special issue of the International Journal of Ageing and Later Life
Thematic Issue of the Journal of Lesbian Studies
Call for Papers
Age, Culture, Humanities - An Interdisciplinary Journal
Announcement of Publication