Longevity: sociological perspectives on health, illness and service provision
Pauline Savy, John Richards Initiative, Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University, Australia
Anne-Maree Sawyer, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University, Australia
Jeni Warburton, John Richards Initiative, Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University, Australia
This special edition of Health Sociology Review invites discussion of a universal phenomenon – the possibility and actuality of living to very old age. In our times, cultural discourses to do with maintaining health and independence for as long as possible pervade social policy and the personal narratives of ageing. Sociologically, these raise interesting, and often contentious, questions about the role of structural support systems, the delivery of appropriate health care, and the phenomenological experience of ageing and dealing with frailty and decline.
We invite theoretical and empirical submissions that contribute to sociological discussion and analysis from across relevant disciplines within Australia and overseas. These should provide insight and critical discussion of a broad range of topics relevant to the health of aged persons. For example, submissions might focus on immediate health matters as these are experienced by individuals and particular groups through accounts of the lived experiences of ageing, managing health problems and negotiating health care. Submissions could focus on or incorporate critical analysis of policy, the work of health care professionals and wider social factors such as access and equity in service provision. Equally, we encourage submissions that showcase and advance methodologies used in researching the health and illness experiences of old individuals whose lives are significantly compromised by illness.
The following specific foci are suggested but other topic areas will be considered:
- Ageing and health of particular groups eg Indigenous, migrant, gendered groups, rural and remote populations
- Evaluation of specific care provision and levels eg acute hospital care, community care, long-term care and health promotion programs
- The ageing body, decline, dying and death
- Health and illness in the oldest generation
- Ageing and medicalisation
- Living with common and chronic conditions including psychiatric conditions
- Family relationships in old age and ill health