Type of Content: Research

Subtype: Journal Article

Resource Title: Understanding Unequal Ageing: Towards a Synthesis of Intersectionality and Life Course Analyses

Publication Title: European Journal of Aging

Publish Date: October 15, 2020

Intersectionality has received an increasing amount of attention in health inequalities research in recent years. It suggests that treating social characteristics separately—mainly age, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic position—does not match the reality that people simultaneously embody multiple characteristics and are therefore potentially subject to multiple forms of discrimination. Yet the intersectionality literature has paid very little attention to the nature of ageing or the life course, and gerontology has rarely incorporated insights from intersectionality. In this paper, we aim to illustrate how intersectionality might be synthesised with a life course perspective to deliver novel insights into unequal ageing, especially with respect to health. First we provide an overview of how intersectionality can be used in research on inequality, focusing on intersectional subgroups, discrimination, categorisation, and individual heterogeneity. We cover two key approaches—the use of interaction terms in conventional models and multilevel models which are particularly focussed on granular subgroup differences. In advancing a conceptual dialogue with the life course perspective, we discuss the concepts of roles, life stages, transitions, age/cohort, cumulative disadvantage/advantage, and trajectories. We conclude that the synergies between intersectionality and the life course hold exciting opportunities to bring new insights to unequal ageing and its attendant health inequalities.

Understanding Unequal Ageing: Towards a Synthesis of Intersectionality and Life Course Analyses

Resource URL: https://bit.ly/2L9MpaI