Age(ing) as Future

Age(ing) as Future – Future-related activities regarding age and aging in cross-cultural perspective.

The research project investigates ag(e)ing as future project and projection of people in aging societies. It starts on the level of subjective-individual constructions, plans, and strategies of future ag(e)ing, in order to fathom the influence of socio-structural, political-institutional and sociocultural framing factors on the one hand, and on the other hand to shed light on the societal implications of individual future-oriented activities regarding ag(e)ing. The project benefits from the systematic combination of sociological and psychological expertise, reintegrating the discourse of the two disciplines, which so far has been peculiarly detached from each other in the field of aging research.

The project combines a multi-method-design – comprising quantitative as well as qualitative methods, experimental, online and survey methodologies, and a special focus on longitudinal analyses – with a cross-cultural focus on three different, highly developed, post-industrial societies (Germany, USA, Hong Kong). The epistemological interest of the project is mainly focused on age-related future actions in the realm of views on aging, time management, and provision making. In the center of analyses are possible relationships and interactions between the societal level of changing age- and time-structures, and the individual level of action-related perceptions, interpretations, and orientations. The comparative focus on different institutional and cultural conditions of individual aging enables us to methodologically corroborate German data and results, as well as to contextualize them in the realm of the expectable range of future-oriented actions regarding age and aging in highly developed, postindustrial societies.

Project term: ongoing since 2014

Cooperation partners

Prof. Dr. Klaus Rothermund
Institute of Psychology
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

Prof. Dr. Stephan Lessenich
Institute of Sociology
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Prof. Dr. David Ekerdt
Gerontology Center
The University of Kansas

Prof. Dr. Helene Fung
Department of Psychology
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Prof. Dr. Thomas Hess
Department of Psychology
North Carolina State University