Transnationalism and the Study of Aging and Old Age

Chapter
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 6)

Abstract

Although globalization and international migration are phenomena that have received some attention in gerontology, transnationalism has yet to engage the social gerontological community. This chapter will introduce this topic by addressing what transnationalism means, describing what characterizes transnational communities and presenting some of the research findings that transnational studies in other fields have brought to fore. Understanding what transnationalism entails and what differentiates transmigrants from other migrants is necessary if we are to exploit the possibilities that transnationalism offers to social gerontology. This is why this chapter will not only introduce research on transnationalism to social gerontologists but also discuss some of the concrete implications that this phenomenon has for the study of key gerontological issues such as, for example, old-age identity and intergenerational solidarity. In addition, this chapter will draw attention to the implications that transnationalism has for old-age policy and practice since this is a societal trend that Europe seems poorly equipped to handle. The underlying idea being that transnational communities pose both a challenge to gerontological research, policy, and practice and a fruitful point of departure from which the gerontological imagination can be expanded. This chapter aims, in other words, to delineate a research agenda for social gerontology that is transnationalism-aware.

Keywords

Transnationalism Globalization Migration Gerontological research and practice 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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