Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

“I dont’ want to be inactive” - issue#1

Generations, ICTs and social changes. Family studies, demographics and statistical sciences, economics, sociologists, psychologists and media scholars together to explore the social impact of the ever increasing lifespan.

 

“In the last century life expectancy has become 30 years longer thanks to the improvement of general life conditions and the progresses achieved by medical science. This is a process that interests Western countries including Italy, where such trend was coupled with a consistent birth decrease. On the one hand this will lead to an increase of healthcare and pension provision costs, on the other hand, however, the extension of life expectancy will also increase the opportunity for elderly people who are inactive from the professional point of view but are active from the relational and social ones, representing a true resource for society”.

This is the opinion of Fausto Colombo, Director of the Department of Communication and Performing Arts and full professor in Media Theory and Techniques at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. From January 2013 prof. Colombo coordinates a research team working on the project “I Don’t Want to Be Inactive” – A Longer Life: a Generational Challenge and an Opportunity for Society”. The research project is strongly characterized by multidisciplinarity, since it directly involves several Faculties and Research Centers. The researchers taking part in the project work at the Faculties of Political and Social Sciences, Sciences of Formation, Economics, Sociology, Psychology, and are members of the following Research Centers and Departments: Family Studies and Research University Center, OssCom – Media and Communication Research Center, Demography and Social Statistics section of the Department of Statistical Sciences, Department of Economics of International Institutions and Development (DISEIS), CRANEC – Research Center for Economic Analysis and International Economic Development, Departments of Sociology, Psychology, Communication and Performing Arts, Political Sciences.

The research project explores the topic of active ageing, and the methodological perspective is twofold: on the one hand it focuses the exchanges among generations, whereas on the other takes into consideration new communication and healthcare technologies.

The former issue is at the heart of the research activity conducted by the Family Studies and Research University Centre led by Giovanna Rossi, full professor of Sociology of the Family at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. “What we want to examine” argued prof. Rossi, “ is how the life quality of elderly people and of the other generations is connected to mutual relational exchanges”.

According to prof. Colombo “the combination of the increase in life expectancy and births after WWII makes those belonging to the so-called Third Age very relevant. As a matter of fact we gained one generation – implying everything that this would mean in terms of identity. Those who were considered excluded from the production cycle have now a longer life expectancy; some of them work longer and sometimes they are not the older generation because their parents are still alive, and they can become grandparents themselves”.

OssCom – Media and Communication Research Center, directed by Piermarco Aroldi, associate professor at the Faculty of Sciences of Formation, is working on the issue of the role of new ICT. “ICTs are a strategic tool” maintained prof. Aroldi. “They both support active ageing in that they favor new assistance and care models, which are more effective and respond better to elderly people’s needs, and they feed the socializing process among generations. At the same time, to some elderly technologies can represent an element boosting increase isolation”.

The two issues are tightly connected because – as prof. Colombo explained – “the use of ICTs by elderly people is often linked to the relational environment they live in: the more structured this environment is, the easiest they access to such technologies”.

The two-year research project includes a number of theoretical contributions devoted to the very issue of ageing, and a survey that will involve a sample composed of 900 Italian young elderly (65-74 year-old) plus 100 qualitative interviews conducted in domestic contexts.

The project is also characterized by a clear international dimension. European and non-European academics will take part to the research; experts such as prof. Pearl Dykstra (Erasmus University Rotterdam – EU 7° FP Coordinator – How demographic changes shape intergenerational solidarity, well-being, and social integration )  and prof. Martine Lagacé - University of Ottawa – member of the Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal are participating in the research planning and will join the research unit members at seminars and workshops where the mid and final results of the project will be presented. CELSA – Centre d’Etudes Littéraires et Scientifiques Appliquées de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne is also part of the research team (prof. Yves Jeanneret, co-director of CELSA, is in charge of the collaboration).



Further information:


http://anzianiinrete.wordpress.com/
http://www.iospress.nl/book/active-ageing-and-healthy-living/

 



 

RESEARCH UNIT


AROLDI, PIERMARCO Department of Communication and Performing Arts, associate professor
BERETTA, CARLO LUIGI Department of International Economics, Institutions and Development, full professor
BERETTA, SIMONA Department of International Economics, Institutions and Development, full professor
BOCCACIN, LUCIA Department of Sociology, full professor
BRAMANTI, DONATELLA Department of Sociology, associate professor
CARLO, SIMONE Department of Communication and Performing Arts, PhD
CONSONNI, GUIDO Department of Statistic Sciences, full professor
MAGGIONI, MARIO AGOSTINO Department of International Economics, Institutions and Development, full professor
MAIOCCHI, MARIA TERESA Department of Psychology, associate professor
MARTA, ELENA Department of Psychology, full professor
MEDA, STEFANIA GIADA Department of Psychology, research fellow
MERZONI, GUIDO STEFANO Department of International Economics, Institutions and Development, full professor
PAVESI, NICOLETTA Department of Sociology, research fellow
REGALIA, CAMILLO Department of Psychology, full professor
RIVELLINI, GIULIA Department of Statistic Sciences, associate professor
ROSINA, ALESSANDRO Department of Statistic Sciences, associate professor
ROSSI, GIOVANNA Department of Sociology, full professor
SANTINI, ANDREA Department of Political Sciences, associate professor
SPATTI, MONICA Department of Political Sciences, research fellow
TAMANZA, GIANCARLO Department of Psychology, associate professor
UBERTI, TEODORA Department of International Economics, Institutions and Development, research fellow
ZANAROTTI, MARIA CHIARA Department of Statistic Sciences, associate professor


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