All statistics concur: total fertility rates are falling across the world. Knowing that a population is stable with 2.1 children per woman, fertility rates worldwide have dropped from 5 children in the 1960s to around 2.5 in 2015 (World Bank 2015). Such statistics suggest that fertility rates will remain above the 2.1 threshold for the foreseeable future, which means that world population should keep increasing in the foreseeable future. Read More
Since my first semester as a lecturer, I have been working with medical students. Rather rapidly, my work shifted towards guiding them to conduct research, and this for several reasons.
- That’s what I thought I could teach them the most accurately
- Since they have to write a research thesis I thought it would be valuable
- I am convinced that studying medicine without understanding the research process is a flawed approach
Guiding students to the conduct of research when they have little or no research background is a challenge. I say guiding because I refuse to be teaching them from a theoretical standpoint the steps of research. Learning to conduct research, I feel, is alike learning a craft: you learn by doing.
When presenting the social reversed mortgage project, a main critique I hear related to older people’s children – and to the fact that in theory, the project looks as a strategy to disinherit children.
I believe there are two main reasons why this is not true.
Last week, I had the opportunity to present at the Ecuadorian congress of urban studies at the university FLACSO (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales). It was a beautifully organised congress with a fantastic interdisciplinarity, including lawyers, architects, city planners… and also just a few people researching health and ageing issues (maybe just me actually).
Over the past year teaching and researching at the School of Medicine at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, I have encountered amazingly inspired and knowledgeable students. I found in many a genuine eagerness to take part in research and for a number of reasons, opportunities were seldom offered.
What if buying a house could combine retirement savings and shelter provision?
Abstract: With the ageing of populations around the world, political activity of older people is increasingly becoming relevant to political science. However, little is known about the possibility of and rationale for politicisation in later life, especially among those who have never before been politically active. This article uses in-depth qualitative interviews with older participants in a successful protest against the closure of a charity-run day centre to investigate how and when such politicisation might occur. We find that in response to perceived extreme threat, and provided with high levels of support, frail older people with low levels of early politicisation actively participated in a protest that ultimately prevented closure of their day centre. Furthermore, older people are not a weak population, but were able to use their frailty as political tools for shaming decision-makers. The study reveals that despite low political activity throughout life, politicisation can be triggered for the first time in later life. Four key aspects are highlighted: in spite of poor health, which acts as a barrier, perceived threat seems an essential driver to politicisation. Catalysts, whether they are supporters or carers, act as an essential determinant to politicisation in this group. Finally, older people are capable of adapting their claim-making performances, including shaming strategies, to achieve the best outcomes, thus illustrating their potential power.