Prof Christopher Phillipson

Professor Sociology & Social Gerontology

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Research interests


My particular focus concerns social, political and economic issues associated with ageing populations. I have been especially interested in studying questions relating to family and community life in old age, problems of poverty and social exclusion, social theory and ageing, and the impact of globalization on later life. I have held grants in a number of ESRC and cross-research council programmes, including Family and Household Change (ESRC), Growing Older (ESRC-led), Cultures of Consumption (ESRC/AHRC) and the Life Long Health and Well-being research programme (MRC-led). My work on theory applied to ageing has focused on developing a critical gerontology which explores and challenges some of the dominant social and cultural assumptions made about ageing and ageing societies. In terms of my empirical and policy work I have become especially interested in the relationship between population ageing and urbanization, exploring questions about the impact of cities on older people (and vice versa). This work is being supported by Manchester City Council and through a Marie Curie Fellowship from the EU. I also lead an ESRC-funded International Partnership and Networking Scheme (IPNS) which brings together a number of European and North American universities engaged in the study of the impact of demographic change on urban life. I collaborate extensively in my work with colleagues from abroad and in particular Belgium, Holland, Australia and the USA.


Research and projects