FS2015: Jay Sokolovsky, "Globalization and Aging: Changing Intergenerational Relations and Social Networks"


Instructor: Prof. Jay Sokolovsky, University of South Florida - St. Petersburg

Time: April 7th+8th, 9-12am and 2-5pm

Place: WWZ, Seminarraum S16

Registration:  Please send an email to andrea.grolimund@unibas.ch (cc: to guenter.schmidt@unibas.ch) by March 30th and provide a short abstract (250 Words) of your presentation if you are interested in taking this course.


The consequences of global aging will influence virtually all areas of life to be encountered in the 21st century, including the biological limits of healthy longevity, the generational contract and nature of family ties, the makeup of households and communities, symbolic representations of midlife and old age and attitudes toward disability and death.

During two days G3S PhD students will get the chance to present and discuss their current work with Prof. Jay Sokolovsky (Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida - St. Petersburg), who is doing research on aging since four decades, is coordinator of the Anthropology of Aging and Life Course Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association and did award winning innovative research on aging. He is the editor of the book 'The Cultural Context of Aging: World‐Wide Perspective', which covers a broad range of topics on aging, uses a qualitative, case study approach to look at the rapidly emerging new cultural spaces and social scripts through which mid and late life are being encountered globally and which is a benchmark for anthropology of aging.

  • 7th April, 9-10am: Globalization and Aging: Changing Intergenerational Relations and Social Networks Introduction by Prof. Jay Sokolovsky
  • 7th April, 10-12am: Globalization and Aging: New Phenomena Presentation of PhD Projects
  • 7th April, 2-5pm: Aging and Intergenerational Relations Presentation of PhD Projects
  • 8th April, 9-12am: Aging in a Life Course Perspective Presentation of PhD Projects
  • 8th April, 2-4pm: Aging and the City Presentation of PhD Projects
  • 8th April, 4-5pm: Synchronizing Qualitative and Quantitative Methods: If not, why not? Presentation by Prof. Jay Sokolovsky followed by discussion

Students are required to read the literature suggested below and present (in 30 minutes) aspects of their PhD study. Every presentation will be followed by a feedback of Prof. Sokolovsky and a discussion in class.

Compulsory course readings:

Sokolovsky, Jay. 2009. Introduction: Human Maturity and Global Aging in Cultural Context & Part I: A Global Vision of Aging, Culture and Context. In: The Cultural Context of Aging: Worldwide Perspectives. J. Sokolovsky, ed. Pp. xv‐12. Westport: Praeger.

Reynolds Whyte, Susan; Erdmute Alber and Sjaak van der Geest. 2008. Generational Connections and Conflicts in Africa: an Introduction. In: Generations in Africa. Connections and Conflicts. E. Alber, S.v.d. Geest, and S.R. Whyte, eds. Pp. 1‐26. Berlin: LIT Verlag.


About the Instructor:

Jay Sokolovsky is a professor in the Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida - St. Petersburg and coordinator of the USFSP Anthropology Program. For his nearly four decades of groundbreaking research and leadership that led to the creation of a new area of study focused on aging, he received the Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology, awarded during the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Prof. Sokolovsky has been at USF St. Petersburg since 1996. He earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Penn State University and a B.A. from Brooklyn College.