Workshops, conferences 2018

Ageing Across Borders: Care, Generations, Citizenship

Date: 23-24 October 2018

Library Hall, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Goettingen, Hermann-Föge-Weg 11, 37073 Goettingen

Abstracts and Bios

As the world’s population grows older, how do people experience ageing in global, mobile and transnational contexts? This workshop hosted by the ‘Ageing in a Time of Mobility’ research group at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity aims to shed light on how ageing and migration intersect to jointly shape new social and cultural transformations. Moving beyond looking at ‘older age’ and ‘ageing’ in isolation, the workshop will explore how care and intergenerational relationships are newly configured in transnational contexts; how new forms and practices of citizenship, community and belonging emerge on different scales; but also how borders and boundaries continue to shape or constrain experiences of mobility in later life in unequal ways.

The workshop will bring scholars from different disciplines together to brainstorm three interlinked themes relating to ageing across borders: care, generations, and citizenship. Drawing on ethnographic and qualitative research conducted in different parts of the world, participants will explore how these conceptual areas may further our understanding of migration over the lifecourse, temporally and spatially. 

The workshop will consider the following questions in relation to each theme:

Care: What new practices and understandings of care emerge through the intersection between ageing and migration? How are particular expectations and ethics of care reasserted or reshaped? How does ageing across borders shift the locations and materialities of care in and between transnational families, care institutions, associations, as well as digital and urban spaces?

Generations: If ageing is fundamentally relational and to be understood through an intergenerational lens, how do mobilities affect relations between generations – within families and communities? How might particular generational roles shift and disrupt a linear or fixed notion of ‘life stages’? How can we understand particular histories of mobility and social transformations through the experiences of older generations?

Citizenship and Belonging: As people live transnational/translocal lives, institutions often remain grounded within state-based frameworks, as do questions of citizenship. How is ageing experienced in a time of hardening borders, restrictive immigration regimes and forced migration? How do older generations enact agency and forge alternative forms of sociality and belonging? What socio-political strategies do they develop to navigate a sense of place, their livelihoods and futures?

Our aim with the workshop is to sharpen and develop a range of conceptual tools to make sense of the multi-faceted experiences of ageing across borders in global perspective, while also shaping future research directions and co-operation in the field.