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Session Overview
RN01_07c_IC: Social and Political Participation
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Luule Sakkeus, Tallinn Univeristy
Location: Intercontinental - Ypsilon I
Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel Syngrou Avenue 89-93 Athens, Greece Floor: Level 1

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Gender, social participation and well-being in old age from a life course approach

Silvia Cervia, Rita Biancheri

Pisa University, Italy

Social participation has been proposed as a determinant of the health of both women and men. More and more studies are examining the link between the social participation of the elderly and their quality of life and health, as the correlation is becoming increasingly relevant. Is the social participation of the elderly an effect or a cause of health? The answer remains unclear.

Epidemiological data show an apparent paradox between increased longevity in women and higher morbility rates. Scientific research in this area has focused on what has been defined as feminine “resilience”, focusing on healthy lifestyles and habits (e.g. smoking behaviour), but without considering the effect of social participation on gender from a life course perspective.

By adopting the life course approach to study “health trajectories” in the ageing process, our research analysed the impact of social participation on health outcomes in old age. Specifically, we sought to redefine social participation to operationalise - in a gender-sensitive manner - those activities identified as socially oriented sharing of individual resources (including formal activities, such as participating in religious, hobby, volunteer, and political groups and informal activities, such as care-giving). By analysing the life story and medical history of a group of witnesses – women and men over the age of 75 – our research revealed a possible connection between the worst health outcomes (in terms of both disease and illness) and overburdening, resulting from a “double presence”, and the positive effect of the “re-establishment” of identities in care continuity.

Political Participation over the Life-Cycle. A Pseudo-Panel Approach

Amilcar Reis Moreira1, Luis Manso1, Mikkel Barslund2

1University of Lisbon, Portugal; 2Centre for European Policy Studies

After an initial period of interest (Crittenden, 1963; Nie et al, 1974; Curtis and Lambert, 1976; Beck and Jennings, 1979), the issue of how active citizenship evolves over the life-cycle has, for decades, been largely ignored by political scientists. However, given the increasing interest over the impact of ageing in developed economies, a body of evidence is slowly building in recent years - see Turner et al, 2001; Burr et al, 2002; Bukv et al, 2002; Campbell, 2002; Pattie et al, 2003; Goerres, 2007; Quintelier, 2007; Wass, 2007; Goerres, 2009; Bhatti et al, 2012; Bhatti and Hansen, 2012; Erkulwater, 2012; Nygard and Jakobson, 2011; Nygard and Jakobson, 2013; Grasso, 2014.

In order to adequately study how active citizenship varies over the life-cycle, we need be able to capture how individual’s behaviours vary over time and also to understand how historical and institutional contexts shape those behaviours. However, with some exceptions (see Tilley, 2004), longitudinal databases that allow us to follow individuals over extensive periods of time are scarce. Most importantly, as most of them are based on single-country surveys, they do not allow us to control for the effect of cross-national differences in individual behaviours. In order to overcome this limitation, and building on Deaton (1985), we will use data from the European Values Survey to build a pseudo-panel to assess whether political participation declines with retirement.

Mobility and Ageing – Preferences in the Use of Transportation Services and Goods by Age

Birgit Aigner-Walder, Albert Luger

Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Austria

The changing age structure in industrialized countries like Austria, caused by the increasing life expectancy and low fertility rates, is affecting the consumption patterns of a (regional) economy. This can be explained by changing preferences and needs subject to the age of a household. Also studies in the field of mobility have shown that consumption patterns and expenditures for goods and services in the field of transportation are influenced by certain socio-economic variables as the age of the household. While there are comparable “young” regions in Austria like the capital Vienna (due to domestic and international immigration of young people to the metropolitan regions) there are also relatively “old” regions like Carinthia, a federal state marked by domestic out-migration of young people. The objective of this paper is to investigate to what extent mobility behaviour and expenditures of Austrian households for mobility (e.g. cars, bikes, public transportation etc.) are dependent on the age of the household, and subsequently which effects are to be expected for the demand of transportation goods and services due to the ageing of the population. The paper is based on a comprehensive literature review as well as a quantitative analysis of mobility expenditures from recent Household Budget Surveys.

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