Division of Ageing and Social Change (ASC)

The Division of Ageing and Social Change, 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.

Research on Ageing and Social Change aims at integrating analyses of changing societies in Sweden and Europe with the study of individual ageing processes within the theoretical framework of life-course research. 

Issues of ageing and social change are conceptualised and analysed in terms of structural and institutional shifts (life-course policies, labour markets, welfare and legal systems, social inequality, integration and exclusion), in terms of changes inwork, social networks, everyday life and health of older people (employment, life-long learning, retirement transitions, health behaviours, ageing with morbidities and disabilities, support needs and care systems) and regarding new societal and technological frameworks of ageing.

Staff from sociology, (social) psychology, gerontology, economy, methodology, communication sciences, journalism, anthropology, social policy and other disciplines are operating in ASC within the Department of Culture and Society. 

An internationalized research environment 

Ageing and Social Change is a genuinely internationalized and well-integrated research environment. Research is largely conducted in collaboration within international networks. The majority of the staff at ASC are internationally recruited. 

Moreover, ASC is involved in national and international training and co-supervision of PhD researchers within a  H2020  Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Action to encourage transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. ASC is also involved within the International Association for Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG), and within the Swedish National Graduate School on Ageing and Health (SWEAH). Ageing and  Social Change is supported by a scientific advisory and stakeholder group of European and national experts, and project advisory groups add to these advice capacities. 


Research 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.

Methods and analytical tools

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.

Focus on the relationship between life-course and social change

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 context

Changing social, technological and spatial environments.

Research programmes and projects

ASC's research includes two Forte-funded six-year research programmes on exclusion and life-long learning in late working life and on living with dementia. These are coordinated in the environment with 14 interconnected research projects and the participation in two other, with research on old-age exclusion through care technology use and by focussed health-care intervention coordinated at the medical faculty.

Moreover, the involvement in the H2020 Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network EuroAgeism on age-discrimination and ageism in Europe with a total of 15 research projects. Three of them are conducted within the research environment, and in an international comparative H2020 ERA-Net based research project on gendered old-age exclusion from social relations that is run in cooperation with six European research partners (ASC is leading one out of four work packages).

ASC participates in an Erasmus+ education and research programme targeting ICT-based training for carers. ASC also conducts several smaller single-subject research projects and runs an infrastructure project to establish and keep a registry data base that combines thorough data, from 16 national databases, on all individuals of age 50 and older in Sweden since 1990.

Research programme



Doctoral and postdoctoral studies 

Postgraduate education includes a PhD programme on Ageing and Social Change and postdoctoral studies that are embedded in the research activities within the local, national, European and international networks of ASC.

The aim of postgraduate studies at ASC is 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. 

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.



Master's Programme

If you want to contribute to the sustainability of an ageing society and
the well-being of an ageing population - this is your master’s programme.
You can choose either on-campus learning or distance learning with on-campus periods each year.


Single-subject course


Anna Olaison, senior associate professor at the division of social work at Linköping University.

New research programme looking for solutions for dementia care

By 2050, the number of older people diagnosed with dementia in Sweden may have doubled compared to today. Providing care to everyone will be a big challenge. A new research programme will be launched at LiU to find solutions for the future.

Old woman and health care personell

Dementia is not the end of learning

People with dementia still have the ability to learn new things despite their illness. This is the conclusion of a doctoral thesis recently presented at Linköping University.

Elderly man at computer

Research on exclusion in late working life receives additional SEK 8,7 million

How can participation in late working life be more inclusive and equal? This is studied by researchers in the research programme EIWO. The programme has received SEK 8,7 million from FORTE to continue in phase two.

Two women sitting on a bench looking at the sea.

Research gives new perspectives on social isolation in older age

Social relations are important for people. But this does not mean that solitude is always harmful. On the contrary, research shows that a small minority of older people are alone and that a considerable proportion of them are happy with being so.

Older woman talking to her doctor digitally

Risk for overestimation in digital technology in healthcare

A dissertation shows that non-inclusive evaluations of digital technology in healthcare can reinforce digital inequalities. Some groups from the elderly population participate in evaluations of the technology to a lesser extent.

A group of people walking. The photo is a bit blurry, showing motion.

A Master's programme with a focus on Ageing and Social Change

The global population is getting older. What are the challenges and possibilities that come with this? How can we ensure the wellbeing of an ageing population? These are the questions at the heart of Linköping University’s new master's programme.

Seminars and conferences

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