The seminar, held Feb 11, addressed some widely held beliefs about loneliness – that the vulnerability increases in old age, that older men are particularly at risk, that loneliness is tied to being alone, and that loneliness is especially rife in individualistic cultures. Qualitative and quantitative cross-national research on late-life loneliness was presented by two NOVA researchers and a guest-researcher from Lithuania.
The first presenter was Marja Aartsen (NOVA). She is a social gerontologist with an interest in the social origins and health-related outcomes of developments in social participation, social relations and loneliness in later life and inequalities therein. One of her latest projects focuses on country level influences on social participation and gendered pathways to social exclusion.
The second presenter was Thomas Hansen (NOVA). He is a social gerontologists with research interests in the areas of quality of life, measurement of subjective well-being, loneliness, and active aging and volunteering.
The final presenter was guest-researcher Gražina Rapolienė, research fellow at the Lithuanian Social Research Centre. Gražina’s research interests are ageing identity, ageism, representations in media, social exclusion, childlessness, and consumption. Her doctoral dissertation “Is Old Age Stigma? Ageing Identity in Lithuania” was awarded the best dissertation in social sciences and humanities in Lithuania in 2012.
Coffee and croissants
Loneliness and Exclusion from Social Relations: The Western perspective, by Marja Aartsen
East-west Divide in Feelings of Loneliness, by Thomas Hansen
Loneliness in Later Life in Lithuania, by Gražina Rapolienė