Department of Sociology and Criminology

ESHMS Special Interest Meeting

European Society for Health and Medical Sociology 4th Special Interest Meeting

Discourses of Health in Old Age



Thursday 24 August 2017 & Friday 25 August 2017


Conference Centre, Bramber House

University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH


To register your attendance and pay your conference fee, please use the registration forms in the navigation panel

For ESHMS members, the fee is £200

For those who wish to join the ESHMS, please join first and then register here. The fee for new members is £200

For non-members, the fee is £270

For PhD participants members, the fee is £70. Please note that you should join ESHMS before registering and paying your conference fee

For PhD participants non-members, the fee is £120

The department of Sociology have FIVE bursaries for PhD students to cover registration. Please contact Karen Lowton to apply.

*Please note, registration closes on Friday 28 July 2017.


We are keen to receive submissions from postdoctoral researchers and PhD students in their final stage of research. Early PhD students are welcomed when accompanied by their supervisor.

To submit an paper for presentation, please provide us with an abstract (800 words max.) using this form. Please indicate if you would be happy to act as a discussant as well.

If you would like to just act as a discussant, please email Karen Lowton at

The deadline for abstracts is Monday 1 May 2017.


The aim of this Special Interest Meeting is to examine critically the discourses of ageing and health in Europe and their implications for national, European and global contexts.

For example, a growing expectation of healthy, active or 'successful' ageing is voiced by Western governments and the mass media which anticipate older people engaging with more individualised health regimes as the population lives increasingly longer lives with more time spent in paid employment. However, concerns over population ageing and its effect on national healthcare systems are being increasingly voiced across the globe. 'Apocalyptic demography' (Gee, 2000) is an ideological position that portrays increasing numbers of older people putting an intolerable strain on formal healthcare systems and families. In this context, older people become 'a ticking time bomb' or a 'burden’ on the state and their loved ones.

Sociologically and/or epidemiologically informed contributions are sought for this two day meeting that examines how societies, social care systems and families, together with social and cultural change, influence discourses of health and wellbeing in ageing societies. Submissions focusing on age and health, employment, and wellbeing are welcome, together with papers addressing the social positioning and determinants of health experiences among older people. As in the previous ESHMS Special Interest Meetings we particularly encourage comparative contributions. Apart from theoretical, qualitative and quantitative contributions focusing on Europe we also welcome work comparing European countries with countries in other world regions.



The format of the Meeting will be in-depth discussions of two high quality paper presentations. The workshop is limited to 25 presentations in two parallel working groups. Each paper will have a 40-minute time slot, with 15 minutes for the presenter, 10 minutes for a discussant, and 15 minutes for general audience questions.