The Ageing and Social Change research environment

Lars-Christer Hydén

The Ageing and Social Change research environment conducts leading-edge research on key social, political and cultural issues of ageing. While providing basic and advanced academic training within these fields, the environment 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 in work, 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 the framework of the environment.

An internationalised research environment

Ageing and Social Change is a genuinely internationalised and well-integrated research environment.

Research is largely conducted in collaboration within international networks. The majority of the staff are internationally recruited.

Moreover, the Research Environment Ageing and Social Change 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.

The environment is 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 an advisory group of European and national experts, and project advisory groups add to these advice capacities. 

Research on Ageing and Social Change

Research plan

While being committed to interdisciplinarity as a key issue for ageing research, the research environment 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, the research environment initiates scientific partnerships with many national and international actors in the field of ageing and invites further collaboration.

Methods and analytical tools

Researchers in the environment 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 the 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, projects, research infrastructure and funded research networks

Completed studies

Reducing Old-Age Social Exclusion - ROSEnet

Old-age exclusion involves interchanges between multi-level risk factors, processes and outcomes. It leads to inequities in choice and control, resources and relationships, and power and rights in key domains of life.

Reducing Old-Age Social Exclusion - ROSEnet
COST Action Ageism COST 1402 teaser image

Ageism - a Multi-national, Interdisciplinary Perspective

The goal is to challenge the practice of ageism by enhancing scientific knowledge on ageism, bringing together different disciplines of research and developing collaborations with various actors.

Ageism - a Multi-national, Interdisciplinary Perspective
Mirror at Hogny Spa Borensberg

GENPATH - GENdered PATHways of social exclusion in later life

GENPATH analyses gender differences in social exclusion across Europe. It asks for its roots and consequences in health and wellbeing in old age.

Other scientific activities and networks

Graduate schools, journals seminars and international networks

The research environment is involved in the Swedish National Graduate School for Competitive Science on Ageing and Health (SWEAH).

Moreover, the envuronment is closely linked to the Journal of Aging and Social Change (JASC), which is edited at The Division of Ageing and Social Change, ASC. ASC is also organizer of the Interdisciplinary Seminar on Ageing Research (ASC-ISAR).

The environment is part of The Socio-gerontechnology network, which brings together scholars from various social science and design disciplines interested in critical studies of ageing and technology, as well as MIRAI 2.0, which is a collaboration between 19 Swedish and Japanese universities, aiming to contribute to long-term research collaboration and to promote Sweden and Japan as nations of world-leading large-scale research infrastructure.


Selected recent publications


Arianna Poli, Annika Heuer, Andreas Motel-Klingebiel (2024) Differential Older Workers' Experience with Technology-related Changes during the COVID-19 Pandemic Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, Vol. 14 Continue to DOI
Kathrin Komp-Leukkunen, Arianna Poli (2024) An introduction to digitalizing work in the Nordics Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, Vol. 14 Continue to DOI
Gülin Öylü, Andreas Motel-Klingebiel, Susanne Kelfve (2024) Age Differences in Unemployment Risk and Reemployment Outcomes in Late Working Life in Sweden Journal of Aging & Social Policy, p. 1-26 Continue to DOI
Lars-Christer Hydén, Anna Ekström, Ali Reza Majlesi (2024) 'Proto-conversation' as a practice in late-stage dementia care Pragmatics and Society, Vol. 15, p. 178-195 Continue to DOI

Doctoral and post doctoral studies

Research education in Ageing and Social Change

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 The Division of Ageing and Social Change, ASC. 

The aim of postgraduate studies is to extend and deepen the student’s theoretical and methodological knowledge and understanding of ageing and later life as a research area.

Doctoral research projects

Doctoral studies are primarily connected to ongoing research projects at ASC and the university’s formal regulations for dissertations apply.

Dementia and Learning

Elias Ingebrand. 

People with dementia are often portrayed as non-competent members in interaction. One largely unquestioned notion is that people with dementia are incapable of new learning. My thesis challenges this by exploring interactional changes over time for people living with dementia who use tablet computers without having any prior experiences of this.

Meso Perspectives on Age Discrimination in Late Working Life in Sweden

Gülin Öylü.

This project analyses mechanisms of age discrimination in late working life with a focus of the role of companies and local governments. It analyzes working life trajectories, employment outcomes in Sweden using a life course perspective in order to understand the dynamics of age discrimination in late working life.   

Eldercare for Older Adults Aged 65 and over with and without Dementia: the Case of Sweden

Atiqur Rahman.

The growing number of people aged 65+ living with dementia implies an increase in the demand for eldercare services. My thesis takes social policy research perspective to investigate and discuss the municipal regulated eldercare services directed to this population in Sweden


Post doc research projects and activities

ASC 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.

The Effect of Exclusion from Social Relations on Cognitive Decline Trajectories, Productive Behaviours, and Independent Living Capacity among Older Persons in Sweden 

George Pavlidis.

This project examines the social and individual factors that that lead to exclusion from social relations and therefore in decrements through adverse cognitive decline trajectories in productive behaviours and independent living capacity among the older in Sweden.

Did We Forget the Frail People? The Impact of Study Design on Estimated Differences in Health within and across European Countries

Susanne Kelfve.

Conducting representative surveys among old people is extra challenging due to the high prevalence of frailty and poor health. Without extra effort, the study population will most likely have better health than the general population.

Register database and cross-cultural differences in gender and work inequalities across Europe

Lina Homman.

Lina Homman is currently mainly involved in updating and maintaining a large longitudinal register database for all of Sweden with a focus on ageing and social change. In addition to this, she is involved in the larger projects EIWO and GENPATH. Both projects relate to cross-cultural differences in gender and work inequalities across Europe.  

Doctoral programme in Ageing and Social Change

Seminars and conferences


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.

Advisory group

The research environment is supported by the national and international members of its advisory group.

Kerstin Angvik, Linköpings kommun
Helena Axestam, Norrköpings kommun
Tiny Jaarsma, Professor Caring Science, Linköping University
Carin Lennartsson, Universitetslektor, Aging Research Center, Stockholm
Mats Pettersson, Norrköpings kommun
Chris Phillipson, Professor of Sociology and Social Gerontology, The University of Manchester
Helena Reifelton, PRO Östergötland
Kirk Scott, Professor in Economic Demography, Lund University
Christine E. Swane, Director, Ensomme gamles vaern, Copenhagen
Marijke Veenstra, Research Director, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
Barbro Westerholm, Riksdagen

Contact us