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Session Overview
RN01_09b: Active Ageing and Social Participation in Old Age
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Amilcar Moreira, Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa
Location: UP.3.205
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Third Floor Oxford Road

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Active Aging and International Migration: A Comparative Approach

Malina Voicu1, Madalina Elena Manea1,2

1Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romanian Academy, Romania; 2University of Bucharest, Romania

Dropping fertility rates and increasing life expectancy brought about by modernization and industrialization led to a significant contingent of seniors over 65 years old in many countries in Europe and North America. This demographic trend influenced the very conception of ageing and its associates. This conception is built around the idea of successful aging, which stands at the intersection between the preservation of physical and mental capacities, avoiding disease and disability, and engagement with life. Active aging is one of the core concepts of successful aging, pointing to seniors’ labor market participation, social participation, informal help and housework.

Population structure is also shaped by international migration. In advanced economies, immigration brings inflows of relatively young workforce which occupies mainly low skilled, “3D” jobs, whereas in less affluent countries the active workforce share dropped rapidly. This research focuses on the interplay between population aging and international migration, investigating how international migration influences seniors’ propensity to lead an active life. We expect that positive net migration rate boosts seniors’ engagement in volunteering and labor market, while a negative rate decreases seniors’ propensity for social participation. Using cross-sectional comparative data from the EQLS 2016, covering 27 EU countries, and administrative data from the UN Data Bank, we run Latent Class Analysis to capture the cluster of activities among seniors over 65 years old, prevailing in each country and then, using multilevel regression models, we investigate the relationship between latent classes’ membership and net migration rate.

Cultural Exclusion in Old Age – Developing a Social-Exclusion Perspective on Cultural Participation

Vera Gallistl

University of Vienna, Austria

Expanding the cultural participation of socially marginalized groups is a major concern of cultural policies around the world (COM 2011). However, cultural exclusion in old age is conceptually under-developed and empirically under-explored (Fraser et al. 2015). This results in a lack of knowledge concerning the mechanisms through which cultural exclusion is produced in old age as well as which policy instruments might support the cultural inclusion of older adults.

This article explores how patterns of cultural participation change in old age and how these changes are connected to manifold dimensions of old-age social exclusion. From a social-exclusion perspective, we can conceptualize cultural participation as a threefold concept that comprises a) participation in going-out-culture, b) participation in home-bound cultural activities and c) participation in identity-culture, e.g. through artistic activities (Morrone, 2006). Each of these domains might, however, relate differently to old-age exclusion.

Empirically, this article draws upon survey data (n=1400), which investigates patterns of, motivations for and barriers towards cultural participation of Austrian people aged 60 and older. Data shows that while all three domains of cultural participation are significantly influenced by older adults’ social position, there is evidence suggesting that cultural activities shift to private spheres as adults grow older. These processes are most prevalent for disadvantaged older adults.

Results suggest that cultural participation is not declining but shifting in old age. In order to build more age-inclusive cultures across Europe, policy needs to address older adults’ cultural participation and provide support in bringing it to public spaces and discussions.

Extended Working Life from Older Workers’ Perspective - Discursive Approach to “The Attitude Problem”

Miira Niska, Pirjo Nikander

Tampere University, Finland

One key concern across EU countries concerns the challenge the ageing population presents to the welfare system. Consequently, the emphasis on delayed retirement age and extended working lives abound in political discussions. One crucial problem with this political endeavour is the so called “attitude problem”: most Europeans want to retire before the age of 65 and do not agree with the goal of pushing the retirement age up. Although several quantitative survey studies demonstrate that such an attitude problem exists, there is very little qualitative research on the issue. In this study, we approach "the attitude problem" from the perspective of discursive social psychology, and analyse the variation in the way aspiration to extend working lives is evaluated by older workers. The interview data used in the study, was collected using a qualitative longitudinal research design, and originates from a research project Towards a two-speed Finland? (2015–2019). In the data, 40 participants between 50–65 years, comment on the political goal to extend working lives. The results demonstrate that extended working lives is an ambiguous and controversial object of evaluation. The version of the labour market constructed in the accounts of older workers differs significantly from the version constructed in political discourses.

Active Ageing Society and Long-term Care Reform: Through an International Comparative Analysis between Netherlands and Japan

Daisuke Watanabe

Seikei University

The aim of the presentation is to examine the relationship between active ageing and long-term care reform in Netherlands and Japan. In Netherlands and Japan, expenditure on Long-term care (LTC) for the elderly is a matter of immediate concern due to rapid demographic ageing. Both LTC policies need serious improvements in order to react increasing expenditure for LTC services, to keep quality of these services, and to improve QOL for the elderly. In the name of active society, the promoting and utilizing elderly volunteers in a local community is focused as one solution of the LTC reform which is decentralization of social support for older people.

Based on semi-structured interviews to staffs of care organizations, care professionals, and public officials in 6 cities of Netherlands and Japan. Particularly, I focus on Socialwijk teams (social district team) which does not support what client cannot do but what can do in Netherlands, and on self-organized groups of care prevention in Japan. I would like to show (1) features of long-term care (LTC) policy reform on promoting community-based solutions, and (2) differences of community approaches of care prevention.

As the result of my research, socialwijk team in Netherlands positively activate and utilize previous local civil groups for active ageing. In contrast, Japanese practices primarily focus on community building through active ageing. These differences is based on the difference of LTC regimes and historical experiences of volunteering.

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