Bucharest online conference, 22 October 2021

Social exclusion in old age remains a significant health and social problem in Europe, despite the ambition of the EU to reduce the number of people who are socially excluded with 20 million by the year 2020. Active ageing policies aimed to increase social inclusion have been insufficient, partly due to the rising longevity, demographic ageing, and accelerated digitalization processes continuously shaping the dynamics of old age social exclusion. New intersectional inequalities emerge as the existing micro-, meso- and macro-social realities come into play. Fortunately, research into this issue grew significantly over the past years, contributing to a better understanding of old age exclusion through data gathering, novel theoretical approaches, and combining support from various disciplines. Moreover, diminishing social exclusion is still a chief concern of policy, and ageing subjects across policy making are increasingly incorporated at the local and the European level. 

The current conference is organized by the project members of the AMASE project, A multidimensional approach of social exclusion in later life-health consequences for ageing populations, funded through the Norway Grants 2014–2021. The conference is supported by the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest, NOVA – Oslo Metropolitan University, National Research Institute for Labour & Social Protection and the Research Institute for Quality of Life – Romanian Academy. Presentations concentrate on explanatory factors of social exclusion in old age, consequences of the phenomenon, and analyses of existing policies. Single country studies, comparative analyses across various societies, as well as cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches are included.

Programme

9.30–11.15 Plenary meeting part I – organized by the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest and NOVA, Oslo Metropolitan University

9.30 Welcome on behalf of the AMASE project, Dr Iuliana Precupețu, Principal Investigator

9.35 Short word by Elena Dobre, Director of the Department Policy and Social Services, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection – TBC

9.45 Keynote speech: Social exclusion in ageing societies: new directions for research and policy, Professor Thomas Scharf, Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle University, UK

10.30 Presentation of research results: Older migrants and loneliness: Scanning the field and looking forward, Professor Ruxandra Oana Ciobanu, Faculty of Social Work (HETSL | HES-SO), University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland

11.15 Break

11.30–13.15 Plenary meeting part II – organized by the Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romanian Academy

11.30 Welcome word, Professor Cătălin Zamfir, Director of the Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romanian Academy of Science, Romania

11.45 Keynote speech: Ageing and social exclusion – life course foundations and consequences in old age, Professor Andreas Motel-Klingebiel, Division Ageing and Social Change, Linköping University, Sweden  

12.30 Presentation of research results: Active ageing as life strategy for ageing well, Dr Mălina Voicu, Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romanian Academy of Science, Romania

13.15 Break

14.00 – 18.00 Sessions

14.00 Session 1. Multidimensional social exclusion in older age: a focus on Romania

Session 1. Multidimensional social exclusion in older age: a focus on Romania

Chair: Dr Jonathan Wörn

Older people have an increased risk for social exclusion due to the accumulation of risk factors associated with age, such as poor health, loss of relatives and friends, and lower levels of physical and social activities. The Romanian society is no exception; in fact, it occupies a leading position among the EU states in most of these aspects. Through a series of complex macro social and economic processes, such as the shifting political regimes, economic disparities, poor material conditions, underdeveloped public and social services, and poor neighbourhood conditions, older people in Romania run the risk of being socially excluded. This session brings together research findings from studies concentrated on Romania or that include Romania. Our first study identifies groups of vulnerable older people suffering from different social exclusion types and reveals the factors associated with each SE-type. The second study looks at loneliness as mediator between exclusion from social relations and mental well-being for older adults. Another presentation is a test into the multidimensionality of social exclusion in old age, while the last one looks at policy measures aiming at the inclusion of older persons on the labour market. 

Groups at risk of social exclusion: identification and risk factors

Marja Aartsen, Marian Vasile, Laura Tufa, Cosmina Pop, Diana Dumitrescu, Rosa Maria Radogna,

Iuliana Precupetu

Social exclusion (SE) is traditionally defined as exclusion from work and material resources, but scholars increasingly agree that SE is a multidimensional concept also including separation from other people and mainstream society. Although exclusion from one dimension raises the odds of exclusion from another, people are not necessarily excluded from all dimensions. Identifying groups that are at risk of social exclusion is relevant for research and practice. The aim of our study is to examine factors that are associated with types of SE. By means of a Latent Class Analysis (LCA) and a subsequent multinomial regression, we categorize older people with the same type of SE into homogeneous groups and examine factors associated with each SE-type. Data are from the year 2016 of the European Quality of Life Survey. We select the Balkan states for its high proportion of socially excluded people (i.e. Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Serbia: N=3030). We found evidence for four types of SE; (I) Fully integrated; (II) Excluded from social relations (III) Integrated, but not in voluntary work; (IV) Excluded from community and material resources (prevalence is 14%, 4%, 69%, and 13% respectively). The risk for SE increases if people are older, have lower education and lower health. Noise pollution further increases risk of exclusion from social relations, whereas low trust in other people further increases risk of exclusion from material resources. Policies to reduce SE should be aware of the inequalities in SE. Economic transfers to poor people, as well as programs to advance education and improve health, are promising policy instruments to reduce SE in later life. 

Loneliness as mediator between exclusion from social relations and mental well-being for older adults

Marian Vasile, Marja Aartsen, Iuliana Precupețu, Laura Tufă, Cosmina Pop, Diana Dumitrescu,

Maria Rosa Radogna

Scholars say that people with frequent contacts with family, friends or neighbors have high social integration. Loneliness, a negative subjective feeling about social relationships, is an effect of exclusion from social relations and correlates with mental well-being (Burholt et al. 2020). Data shows low levels of mental well-being for more than half of Romanian and at least a quarter of EU adults 50 years or older. World Health Organization considers mental well-being essential to well-being and as important as physical health. Using data for the year 2016 from European Quality of Life Survey, and multilevel structural equation models, we test the direct and indirect effects of exclusion from social relations and loneliness for mental well-being. We found evidence for both types of relationships while controlling for gender, employment status, material deprivation, and residence. The positive effect of having contacts by phone or internet is interesting if we think at the COVID-19 pandemic which imposes physical distancing as a prevention measurement. We discuss which is the proper measurement model for exclusion from social relations, reflective or formative, and measurement equivalence of the WHO-5 scale for mental well-being.

A test into the multidimensionality of social exclusion in later life

Iuliana Precupetu, Marian Vasile, Laura Tufă, Marja Aartsen

Social exclusion in older age is a significant problem in European societies, with far reaching consequences for health and wellbeing. Recently, there is increasing recognition among scholars of the multidimensionality of social exclusion, and while there is evidence on the co-occurrence of social exclusion in multiple realms, there is little empirical research on this complexity. Using the Romanian data from 2016 of the European Quality of Life Survey, we look at the inter-relationships between five key domains of social exclusion: economic resources, social relations, social services, neighbourhood and community, and civic society. We perform confirmatory factor analysis, and we show how dimensions of social exclusion are interrelated with different intensity across different age groups.

Measures for the social inclusion of older persons

Mihaela Ghența, Aniela Matei The aim of this paper is to present a methodological approach developed to identify policy measures and actions that can encourage older workers to remain active on the labour market. The results were obtained within the project Measures aimed at increasing the social inclusion of the elderly, a project funded under The Research and Development Programme of the Ministry of Labour and Social Justice for the period 2018-2020. Considering the scarcity of information on the subject, a qualitative methodology (focus group) was developed in order to highlight: the degree of awareness of the aspects related to the employment of elderly workers, among public/private institutions, representatives of the social partners, etc.; the determinants of the decision to remain on the labour market for older workers; the barriers that limit the employment among older workers; the measures and the actions that could help older workers to stay in work. Based on the results, a number of policy measures have been outlined in order to encourage older workers to continue working.

15.00 Session 2. Exclusion from social relations in later life: findings of the GenPath study

Session 2. Exclusion from Social Relations in Later Life: Findings of the GenPath study

Chair: Professor Marja Aartsen, Co-chair: Anna Urbaniak

Exclusion from social relations (ESR) is an unwanted situation as it undermines people’s abilities to lead a healthy, active, and independent life. However, policies to reduce ESR has so far been limited effective probably due to an incomplete conceptual understanding of old age ESR. This symposium brings together the research findings from four studies that are part of GENPATH. GENPATH is a research collaboration between researchers from six European countries and Israel funded by the EU-Gender-Net Plus program. We present findings of one quantitative and three qualitative studies. In the first presentation, we discuss micro and macro-level patterns and correlates of ESR in twelve European countries participating in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Based on qualitative interviews with Spanish older people, the second presentation discusses the gendered barriers to connecting with other people. The third presentation gives deeper insight on how work-life trajectories act as enablers or disablers in the formation of social connections, and the fourth presentation provides an interpretation for situations in which objective (social isolation) and subjective (loneliness) aspects of ESR and narrations from older adults about ESR are discordant. 

Exclusion from social relations in later life: Micro and macro-level patterns and correlates in a European perspective

Thomas Hansen, Marcela Petrová Kafková, Ruth Katz, Ariela Lowenstein, Sigal Naim, George Pavlidis, Feliciano Villar, Kieran Walsh, Marja Aartsen

Older adults face particular risks of, and vulnerability to, exclusion from social relationships (ESR). However, extant research has been limited to specific dimensions, countries, and time points. We examine rates and predictors of ESR (household composition, social networks, social opportunities, and loneliness) among older adults using two-wave SHARE data across twelve European countries. ESR is linked to micro-level (age, gender, socioeconomic factors, health, and family responsibilities) and national macro-level factors (social expenditures, unmet health needs, individualism, social and institutional trust). Findings reveal a north-west to south-east gradient with the lowest ESR in the Northwest welfare states, a pattern especially pronounced among women. Predictably, higher age and fewer personal resources increase the risk of ESR for both genders. Macro-level factors significantly predict ESR, suggesting that national policies and cultural and structural characteristics may play a role in fostering sociability and connectivity and thus reduce the risk of ESR in later life.

Older adults’ perceived barriers for inclusion in social relationships: Evidence from Spain

Rodrigo Serrat, Montserrat Celdrán, Feliciano Villar

Exclusion from social relationships (ESR) in later life has become a major public health concern and a social policy priority. Removing older adults’ barriers for inclusion in social relationships is therefore essential. This study was aimed at exploring Spanish older adults’ perceived barriers for inclusion in social relationships. We recruited 30 people aged 65 years (20 women and 10 men) for this study. They were users of a Catalan NGOs aimed at providing social and emotional support to older people experiencing ESR. We carried out an open-ended interview, which included questions on perceived barriers for inclusion in social relationships. We identified three main themes in participants’ interviews: Resources-related barriers, social-related barriers, and environmental-related barriers. Gender and life course experiences played an important role in the way these barriers were perceived by our participants. Results highlight the need of a more multifaceted approach to remove barriers for inclusion in social relationships.

The Gendered Impact of Work-Life Trajectories on Relational Enablement and the implications for Social Relations in Later Life.

Celia Sheridan, Kieran Walsh

There is a lack of evidence on how work-life trajectories act as enablers or disablers in the formation of social connections, and how they differ for men and women in the construction of exclusion from social relations. This paper aims to explore the gendered impact these trajectories have on relational enablement and will draw on thirty in-depth semi-structured interviews with men and women aged sixty-five and over. Findings suggest that work-life trajectories have differential effects on the social relations of men and women over their life course and can intersect with other trajectories regarding migration, relocation and caring. Findings reveal gender differences both in terms of the timing of exclusion from social relations and the role of formal work in providing relational continuity. These differences show work-life trajectories having an impact on the relational sphere of men and women, with women typically experiencing relational disruption earlier in life than men.

Understanding measurements of exclusion from social relations in later life: insights from a mixed methods study

Anna Urbaniak, Anna Wanka, Marja Aartsen

Exclusion from social relations (ESR) is an unwanted situation and can be defined as a situation in which people are socially and emotionally disconnected from adequate levels of intimate relationships, social networks, social support, and/or social opportunities. This definition entails both subjective (loneliness) and objective (being alone) states. Interestingly, not all people who are alone also feel lonely and vice versa. Based on the mixed-method study GENPATH, we try to reach a better understanding of this discrepancy. Qualitative and quantitative data come from 30 Austrian older people at risk of being excluded. Results show that loneliness not necessarily corresponds to being alone, nor to narrations in the qualitative interviews. One of the factors related to this discrepancy is gender. We conclude that ESR is a complex issue that requires contextualized understandings, which argues for mixed methods approaches.

16.00 Session 3 – Social exclusion and policy responses, National Research Institute for Labour & Social Protection

SESSION 3. Social exclusion and policy responses, National Research Institute for Labour & Social Protection

Chair: Dr Mihaela Ghența

Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of social public policies targeting older people cannot be achieved in the absence of objective research evidence. This section presents research findings from five projects related to long-term care (LTC) and quality of life of older persons, as well as policy responses to address aspects related to quality of LTC services, quality of life, informal care, and poverty in old age. In the first presentation, we present a methodological approach developed to assess the quality of care in institutions providing LTC services. In the second paper, based on a qualitative methodology, we aim to identify the dimensions of quality of life in old age from the perspective of dependent older people, organizations representing the interests of this category, and social service providers for persons with long-term care needs. The third presentation draws attention to poverty in later life, while the fourth paper proposes a mixed methodological approach to analyze the opportunity to develop support services and funding schemes for informal carers of older people with long-term care needs.  

Quality of care in institutions providing LTC services in Romania

Elen-Silvana Bobârnat, Aniela Matei, Mihaela Ghența, Luise Mladen-Macovei

The purpose of this paper is to present a methodological approach built to assess the quality of care in institutions providing LTC services. The results were developed within the project Methodology for continuous monitoring of the quality of care in institutions providing long term care services funded under The Research and Development Programme of the Ministry of Labour and Social Justice for the period 2018-2020. The methodological approach proposed within the project was based on the triangulation of the scientific research methods: (1) benchmarking methodology regarding the LTC systems and the indicators used to evaluate the quality of LTC services; (2) survey-based methodology for measuring the quality of care in residential centres that provide LTC services (based on the implementation of a qualitative methodology using research tools like focus groups and semi-structured interviews); (3) Delphi group on social policies in order to identify public policy proposals for improving the quality of LTC services (both from the perspective of providing the human, financial and material resources necessary for developing the LTC system, and from the perspective of preparing the health system for provision of services to the older people). The results of the project provide evidence and examples of useful experiences to help decision makers, social service providers and long-term care experts to measure and improve the quality of long-term care services.

Quality of life of older dependent persons in Romania

Simona Stănescu, Mihaela Ghența

The article presents the results of a qualitative methodology developed within the project Quality of life of dependent elderly people in Romania, project funded under The Research and Development Programme of the Ministry of Labour and Social Justice for the period 2018-2020. The project aimed to identify the dimensions of the quality of life in old age from the perspective of dependent elderly people, organizations representing the interests of the elderly, and social service providers for the elderly with long-term care needs. To achieve this goal, semi-structured interview guides were developed and applied with representatives of organizations representing the interests of the elderly and with beneficiaries of home and residential care services, as well as a focus-group guide with social services providers for dependent elderly people. The results of the research provide useful information to the policy makers, the social service providers and to the experts involved in long-term care services provision. At the same time, a series of future research directions concerning the quality of life of the elderly in general and of the dependent ones in particular, have been outlined.

Poverty among elderly people

Cristina Stroe

Poverty is a permanent and major challenge for all societies and all times. All countries face poverty, including those that are generally considered rich and have significant values of increasing economic output per person, because economic growth is an important factor in driving poverty reduction. Romania is among the poorest countries in many indicators of poverty and social exclusion, monetary poverty and income inequality.

Even with the relative perception that poverty indicator would induce, the distribution by age group indicates that some categories of people face higher risks of poverty (e.g., young people and children), while others have a lower incidence (elderly people, active population on the labour market).

Although it has a lower incidence of poverty, the elderly group should be taken into account in policy decisions, as the presence of poverty and the identification of other medical, psychological and social needs consider it as a vulnerable category to these social risks.

The paper draws attention to the incidence of poverty among the elderly, highlighting and analyzing the main statistical indicators Eurostat, nationally and comparatively, in order to present a current and dynamic picture of the persistence and magnitude of poverty facing this segment of the population.

Support services and funding schemes for informal caregivers

Luise Mladen-Macovei, Bertha-Andra Sănduleasa The purpose of this paper is to present the results obtained within the project Informal care in long-term care for older people – development of support services and funding schemes, project funded under The Sectoral Research and Development Plan of the Ministry of Labor and Social Justice for period 2018-2020. The overall objective of the project is to analyze the opportunity to develop support services and funding schemes for informal carers of elderly people with long-term care needs and to propose measures to adjust policies in order to support informal care. The methodology was based on the good practice research, using qualitative and quantitative information from primary and secondary sources of information. Based on the analysis of the information obtained from good practices and the status of regulation of informal care in Romania, the authors proposed a setof support services and funding schemes that could be implemented in Romania.

17.00 Session 4. Ageing in Romania I, Research Institute for Quality of Life

SESSION 4. Ageing in Romania I, Research Institute for Quality of Life

Chair: Luana Pop

3 661 763 persons aged 65 years or more live in Romania, representing 19% of the total population. Population ageing is affecting Romania as a result of low fertility rates, increases in life expectancy and net migration, and projections show that the percentage of persons 65+ will reach 22% by 2030 and 30% by 2050. Older people in Romania face a large array of problems like low standard of living, poor health status, high housing deprivation, low mental wellbeing, loneliness and low access to social services. This section brings together presentations mainly highlighting aspects of policy making in regard to older people in Romania. The first presentation looks at the case of deinstitutionalization of older people with disabilities, suggesting a series of policy recommendations. The second paper focuses on social and socio-medical services in Romania, looking at access to this type of services, main challenges in their development, and risks associated with COVID-19 pandemic. Another presentation is an analysis of the perceived social and economic impact of the adoption of the common European currency among older people in Romania. COVID-19 impacted heavily on already vulnerable people and communities and the next paper provides insights from a qualitative research that aimed at understanding this impact. The main policy measures that can accompany ageing into the next decade are detailed in next paper. Last presentation is an analysis by residence of employment of older workers in Romania.  

Deinstitutionalization for older adults with disabilities: the case of Romania

Monica Marin

This paper analyzes deinstitutionalization solutions/ alternatives for adults with disabilities aged 65 years and over, living in large residential centers in Romania. It is based on a quantitative analysis of a large database of beneficiaries living in centers undergoing restructuring process in the period of 2019 up to the present time.  According to the current legislation, residential centers for adults with disabilities larger than fifty beneficiaries should undergo a restructuring process, with the aim of ensuring the specific services that beneficiaries need, in family type or residential type of alternatives with a maximum capacity of fifty places, adapted to their needs, safe according to personal safety, working towards integration and participation in the community’s life. The database includes extensive information about each beneficiary assessed when substantiating individual solutions for all the Restructuring Plans approved by the responsible national authority in Romania, up to November 2020. Data collection period is January – March 2021. The study examines the profile of beneficiaries from these centers, differentiated by key socio-demographic variables like gender, age, type and degree of disability as well as legal representation, type and needs of support, capacity and type of residential center. The key question is whether there are significant differences among older beneficiaries as well as between them and the rest of beneficiaries regarding types of solutions identified by the evaluation team from each center. Conclusions and recommendations differentiated by level of authority (residential center, county, national) are provided in the last section.

Age-friendly social policies: social and socio-medical services for old age in Romania

Claudia Petrescu

The present paper aims to explore the development of social protection policies for old age in Romania with a focus on characteristics of social and socio-medical services in Romania, access to this type of services, main challenges in their development, and risks associated with COVID-19 pandemic. 

The paper is based on social policy analysis, document and secondary data analysis.

The findings show that, despite a certain development of social services for older people in the last eight years, the needs of older people in Romania are not yet covered. The access of seniors to social and socio-medical services in Romania remains low due to a series of problems: poor national development of social services, extremely low public funding; low number of licensed providers and accredited services for older people, limited number of support policy measures; inequalities in the distribution of these services between rural and urban areas. The pandemic increased the risks that older people face in residential homes and highlighted the need for more community services and better coverage of community nurses.  

Perceived social and economic impact of the adoption of the common European currency among older people in Romania

Maria Livia Ștefănescu

This paper analyses the extent to which the transition to the Euro currency is supported by the population over 65 years old in Romania. Data come from a Eurobarometer survey carried out in 2020 that looked at possible consequences of Romania joining the eurozone. By applying an indicator which is compatible with the stochastic order relation between categorical ordinal variables, we look at how perceived impacts on older people vary by gender, level of education and residential area. Results point out great differences between the rural and urban localities. For some of the 10 items, Romanian women tend to be more circumspect with regard to the adoption of the Euro currency.

17.45 Session 5. Ageing in Romania II, Research Institute for Quality of Life

SESSION 5. Ageing in Romania II, Research Institute for Quality of Life

Chair: Sorin Cace

COVID-19 pandemic impact in Romanian vulnerable communities: insights from qualitative research

Manuela Sofia Stănculescu, Monica Marin

This paper is about designing a qualitative study in order to strengthen the capacity of public authorities in Romania to monitor and propose interventions for the Roma communities in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. It draws on a study aimed to serve the National Agency of Roma (NAR) as a tool to grasp impact on Roma communities subject to transmission channels, types of impact, and both communities and vulnerable groups (especially children, women and older people).

The study is based on qualitative methods that deeply capture the early “signs” of the impact on vulnerable communities and groups. The paper mainly presents the methodology for conducting selection of rural communities, conducted as a two-step process. In the first step, a typology using available data for all communes of Romania has been elaborated. The share of people aged 65 and above has been part of the set of indicators used in typology construction. In the next step, a sample of thirty communes was randomly selected, as follows: (i) ten Roma vulnerable communes (ii) ten vulnerable communes; (iii) counterfactual of ten resilient communes. Data collection method has been represented by a structured interview guide and data collection has been organized in four rounds, during the period of May-July, 2020.

Characteristics of ageing in Romania in the European context

Mariana Stanciu

Romania has a distinct profile of ageing in the European context. This involves a set of adequate policies that takes into account the status as a European Union member and takes advantage of other countries’ best practices.

This presentation details the main characteristics of ageing in Romania from a demographic perspective and highlights the main policy measures that can accompany ageing into the next decade.

Urban-rural employment in Romania at elderly active ages and beyond

Simona Ilie

The Active Ageing Index places Romania in a group of European countries with the lowest employment index. Despite the fact that the country has an AAI for employment among the best in its group, the trend of AAI for employment in Romania is downward, unlike the EU average (UNECE, 2019). The paper proposes an in-depth view on Romanian employment at the ages of interest for the AAI perspective, with focus on its time horizon. In contrast to the usual criteria used for in-depth analysis of the AAI, the paper looks at urban-rural differences in employment level and dynamic. Results show an urban dynamic of the AAI for employment similar to the EU average trend, and a rural one of an opposite direction. In a positive general economic trend for three of the rural old-age categories, the participation to the labour market is lowering, while the youngest group of the ages of interest from urban area barely catch up with the employment of the correspondent rural age-group. These results are observed in relation to several socio-economic indicators. Nevertheless, they make room for discussions on how the field of employment is seen in the perspective of AAI.

18.30 Consortium meeting – closed

Our speakers

Thomas Scharf is Professor of Social Gerontology in the Population Health Sciences Institute at Newcastle University, UK. He was previously Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway, Ireland (2010-2015) and Director of the Centre for Social Gerontology, Keele University, UK (2006-2010). A Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, Professor Scharf is current President of the British Society of Gerontology. His research addresses issues relating to social inclusion and exclusion in later life, often with a focus on the spaces and places in which inclusion and exclusion arise and on the policy responses to forms of exclusion. Professor Scharf’s research on forms of social exclusion has been published in leading gerontology journals. His most recent book, based on the work of COST Action CA15122 ‘Reducing Old-Age Social Exclusion: Collaborations in Research and Policy’ (ROSEnet), is Social Exclusion in Ageing Societies: Interdisciplinary and Policy Perspectives (co-edited with Kieran Walsh, Sofie van Regenmortel and Anna Wanka, Springer, 2021).

Ruxandra Oana Ciobanu is professor at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, Faculty of Social Work (HETSL | HES-SO). She has been doing research on international migration, and during the past 10 years she has been studying particularly older migrants, and in relation to this group, she has focused on loneliness feelings, care services and transnational processes. On these topics, she has obtained funding to conduct research projects from the European Commission for a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship, and from the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Andreas Motel-Klingebiel, Prof. Dr. phil. habil. – Sociologist and Gerontologist, Professor in Ageing and Later Life, Research Director and Head of the Division Ageing and Social Change, Linköping University, Sweden. Earlier, he held positions at the German Centre of Gerontology (DZA), the Freie Universität Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (MPIB), and taught Gerontology and Sociology at the University of Vechta and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Main research interests are in ageing, diversity, social inequality and exclusion, life course and individual dynamics as well as social and cultural change. Current research includes the projects ‘EIWO – Exclusion and Inequality in Late Working Life: Evidence for Policy Innovation Towards Inclusive Extended Work and Sustainable Working Conditions in Sweden and Europe’, ‘GENPATH – A life course perspective on the gendered pathways of exclusion’ and ‘Ageing in a Changing Society’ as well as the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action ‘ITN EuroAgeism’.

Mălina Voicu is a Research Professor at the Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romanian Academy in Bucharest. She studied Sociology and Psychology and she holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Bucharest. In her career she was also affiliated with GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologne, Germany, as Senior Researcher (2011–2017) and with University of Cologne, Germany, as associated lecturer (2012–2016). She sat on the Executive Committee of the European Values Study (2005–2017) and she served as Secretary and Vice-Chair of the same body (2013–2017). Her area of expertise deals with social values and attitudes, gender roles and sociology of religion, while her current work focuses on the connection between changes in population structure and cultural change in modern societies and the impact of population ageing on social values and attitudes.