讲座题目：Living Alone among the Elderly around the World: Details of a Comparative Research Agenda
讲座嘉宾：David Reher & Miguel Requena
This presentation shows the research agenda on living alone in later life that we have been developing in recent years. The main purpose of this comparative research initiative is to throw light on the determinants of solo living in later life and to explore the public and private consequences of this relevant phenomenon. A theoretical framework is presented pointing to the importance of different family systems, policy contexts, levels of development and socioeconomic characteristics has been specified in order to understand better the gradient in living alone among the elderly across the world. Thus far, a number of papers have been produced. There is an analysis of Spain, a developed but highly familistic society where living alone in later life has increased in recent decades. There is also a comparison between Sweden and Spain, two developed countries with very different family cultures and very different levels of living alone. We have recently published an analysis of a wide variety of countries from across the globe, making use of two large datasets, one with country-level variables for 61 countries and the other with micro census data for 32 nations. A more in-depth comparison of only five countries (Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Brazil, and Spain) has been designed whose results confirm and validate basic theoretical expectations about micro- and macro-determinants of living alone. The micro-determinants operate differently depending on the level of familism and development of each country. While economic development accounts for an important part of living alone among the elderly,many of the observed differences are also explained by societal characteristics such as family systems and available policy options. Should this continue, levels of living alone are likely to increase in the future, but strong differences in the pace of change are likely to emerge in view of different levels of development and familism. Future research on this issue is discussed.
David S. Reher teaches at the School of Political Science and Sociology of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and is Director of the Research Unit on Population Studies (GEPS). He was founder and President of the Asociación de Demografía Histórica (ADEH) and Chair of the Historical Demography Committee of the IUSSP. He was the main promotor of the National Immigrant Survey of Spain (NIS-2017). He is also the founder of the Center for the Study of Aging. Throughout his career he has been a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley [USA], the University of Umeå [Suecia], the European University Institute [Florence Italy], the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba [Argentina] and the Universidade de São Paulo [Brasil].
He has authored many publications in the highest-ranking journals of his field on subjects such as historical demography, economic history, social history, population sociology, historical and contemporary migrations, family history and family sociology,
reproductive health and the demography of aging. He is author of books published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, University of Nebraska Press, Alianza Editorial and Marcial Pons Editores. Recently his book on the Conquest of Health (La conquista de la salud) (Pérez Moreda, Reher y Sanz Gimeno) published by Marcial Pons Editores received the Jaume Vicens Vives Prize for the best book in economic history published in 2015.
Professor Reher is currently focusing a large part of his researcher efforts around the field of aging in contemporary societies, as well as on comparative research on the demographic transition and the baby boom and baby bust in the contemporary world.
Miguel Requena (Ph.D. by Universidad Complutense de Madrid) is Full Professor of Sociology in the Department of Social Structure (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain) and member of ‘Grupo de Estudios Población y Sociedad’. He began his academic career as an assistant professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He has been member of the Technical Staff of Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (1984–1987), Associate Researcher at the Fundación Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales Aplicadas (1989–1992), Associate Doctor to Instituto de Estudios Sociales Avanzados-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (1993–1994), Senior Associate Member in St. Antony College, Oxford University (1994–95), Professor at Hamilton College (1992–2001) and Visiting Professor at Princeton University. His research interests are demography and sociology of family, social stratification, and social change. His recent works include Tres décadas de cambio social en España (Madrid, Alianza) and co-edited with David Reher, Las múltiples caras de la inmigración en España (Madrid, Alianza).