Introduction to the Special Issue on Ageing and Well-Being

Ulpukka Isopahkala-Bouret, Anja K. Leist


We conceive this special issue as part of a broad research interest to address what ‘well-being’ means with respect to ageing. The cultural and social contexts of ageing have changed largely over the last two decades. There is now more fluidity and complexity in the way people understand and interpret ageing processes, and ageing experiences appear to have become more differentiated. Ageing is no longer defined only by normative and standardized life course trajectories (Kohli, 2007). Ageing is caught up in various forms of social practices by which meaningful identities and lifestyles are realized (Gilleard & Higgs, 2013; Isopahkala-Bouret 2015). Notwithstanding these positive developments, ageing-related bodily and cognitive changes (Kukull et al., 2002) and social inequalities in aging (Arber, Fenn & Meadows, 2014; Jagger et al. 2011) still remain a challenge. In order to understand better the different factors that contribute to ageing well and to improve well-being of older people, we need to better understand the determinants and obstacles to well-being from different perspectives and in different contexts.



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