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Expanding the gerontological imagination on ethnicity: conceptual andtheoretical perspectives
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2015 (English)In: Ageing & Society, ISSN 0144-686X, E-ISSN 1469-1779, Vol. 35, no 5, p. 935-960Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The globalisation of international migration has increased the ethnic diversity of most ageing populations across the Western world. This has implications for gerontological research, policy and practice, and puts our understandings of ethnicity to the test. This paper presents the different perspectives that inform ethnicity scholarship (the essentialist/primordial perspective, the structuralist/circumstantialist perspective and social constructionism) and suggests that the way in which we regard ethnicity has implications for how gerontological research is designed, how policies for old age are formulated and how gerontological practice is shaped. Through a review of contemporary gerontological research on ethnicity published in some of gerontology's main journals, the paper discusses some of the trends observed and concludes that most research seems to be informed by essentialism and structuralism. This suggests that the gerontological imagination on ethnicity has yet to be informed by the latest developments in ethnicity scholarship. The paper therefore urges gerontologists to broaden their understanding of ethnicity and suggests that much could be gained if we were to let the social constructionist perspective on ethnicity and the notion of intersectionality be sources of inspiration for the gerontological imagination on ethnicity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 35, no 5, p. 935-960
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-240494DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X14001330ISI: 000357881800003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-240494DiVA, id: diva2:776604
Funder
Welfare and Life-courseAvailable from: 2015-01-07 Created: 2015-01-07 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Torres, Sandra

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