Division of Ageing and Social Change (ASC)

ASC conducts leading-edge research on key social, political and cultural
issues of ageing. While providing basic and advanced academic training
within these fields, ASC also contributes to the proliferation of
knowledge about ageing within society.

ASC seeks to generate and improve knowledge about ageing as both a social and individual process within the context of a dynamic world, where demographic shifts are a crucial part of social change in contemporary and future societies. The main focus of ASC’s research on ageing is on the relationship between the life-course and social change. Their complex relationship is analyzed from a multi-level perspective, from society as a whole to the individual, and the interaction between them over time. From these ambitious perspectives, ASC’s research topics include social inequality and inclusion/exclusion, ageing with health and disability, as well as ageing in social and physical contexts. Research at ASC on dementia, as conducted at the Center for Dementia Research (CEDER) or on ageism and age-discrimination within the ITN EuroAgeism, serve as key examples of the rewarding integration of research topics.

Against this backdrop, ASC is involved in several major research and training networks such as the COST Actions of Ageism and on Old-age Social Exclusion, the Swedish National Graduate School for Competitive Science on Ageing and Health (SWEAH) or the ‘International, multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral training network on ageism’ EuroAgeism. Moreover, ASC is closely linked to the Journal of Aging and Social Change (JASC), which is edited at ASC. ASC is organizer of the LiU Interdisciplinary Seminar on Ageing Research (ISAR), which is run in close cooperation with IKE’s Division of Neuro and Inflammation Sciences (NIV).

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Researche programme

While being committed to interdisciplinarity as a key issue for ageing research, ASC emphasizes perspectives from the social, behavioural and political sciences. Researchers coming from numerous academic disciplines within these fields integrate their views in examining issues related to welfare systems, social structure, technology, economy, migration, gender, health, disability, care, geography, architecture and other areas. To cover this wide range appropriately, ASC initiates scientific partnerships with many national and international actors in the field of ageing and invites further collaboration.

Researchers at ASC apply and develop advanced methods and analytical tools within the framework of the disciplines involved. The combination of advanced methods, from statistical analysis to qualitative studies of different kinds, makes it possible to pursue a thorough investigation of the institute’s research interests.

The main focus of ASC’s research on ageing and later life is on the relationship between the life-course and social change in three broad areas:

Thematic area I: Ageing and social structure
Social inequality of ageing, social integration, social exclusion and changing welfare systems

Thematic area II: Ageing between health and disease
Health, morbidity and care, support needs and living with morbidity

Thematic area III: Ageing in local context
Changing social, technological and spatial environments.

Link to research programme (pdf)

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Postgraduate studies and education

Since the introduction of a doctoral programme in 2001, LiU offers postgraduate studies in ageing and later life. It is the aim of postgraduate studies at ASC to extend and deepen the student’s theoretical and methodological knowledge and understanding of ageing and later life as a research area.

Doctoral programme – Doctoral studies are primarily connected to ongoing research projects at ASC and the university’s formal regulations for dissertations apply. The doctoral programme in ageing and later life is intended to develop and deepen the student's knowledge in the fields of research on ageing, in both theory and methodology. Being admitted to doctoral studies requires excellent qualifications and the ability to complete the programme. General admission means that the applicant has successfully completed an undergraduate programme of at least 240 credit points or acquired equivalent knowledge within or outside the country.

Find doctoral programme at ASC.

Postdoc research – Apart from the promotion of doctoral fellows and the supervision of doctoral studies, ASC also offers postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to develop their academic career within an inspiring and encouraging research context after receiving their PhD at a university in Sweden or abroad. ASC also participates in undergraduate training at Linköping University with courses related to the fields of research and the various academic competences available at the institute.

Undergraduate education – Researchers at ASC contribute to undergraduate education at Linköping University with courses on ageing and social change. ASC gives four courses starting during autumn 2020:

  • The sociology of the ageing society – An introduction to the social, cultural and economic analysis of ageing and social change in contemporary society (7,5 credit points)
  • Life-course, ageing and social exclusion (7,5 credit points)
  • Methods of analyses on individual development, life-course and social change (7,5 credit points)
  • From diversity to inequality – a social science perspective (7,5 credit points)


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