Professional studies

Teaching language


Type of course


Recommended year of study


Total number of ECTS

5 cr

Competency aims

The purpose of the course is to provide basic knowledge about aging and old people's social reality from different sociological and theoretical perspectives.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student should:
- have basic knowledge of old people's living conditions and every-day life
- have knowledge of attitudes to aging and old age
- have knowledge of the aging society and fundamental demographical changes
- have knowledge of aging in a life course and life history perspective
- be able to applicate different social gerontological theories and concepts in order to understand old people's life situations
- be able to apply central methodological concepts
- be able to encourage meetings between older people and other generations and strengthen the old peoples position to transmit the cultural heritage
- be familiar with movement training in old age

Course contents

- Roots of Social Gerontology
- Basic social theories of aging
- Knowledge and myths about aging
- The aging body and body image
- Life history perspective
- The life course perspective
- Longevity and life styles
- Diversity

Additional information

Compulsory attendance in lectures, workshops, seminar

Recommended or required reading

Course literature

Atchley, R.C. 2004. Social forces and aging: An introduction to social gerontology. Chapter 6 (Social Aspects of Individual Ageing) Belmont: Wadsworth.

Daatland, S.O& Biggs, S.(Eds) (2007) Ageing and Diversity: Multiple pathways and cultural migrations. Chapter 4 & 6. Bristol. The Policy Press.

Further literature:
Biggs, S. (1996) Understanding ageing. Images, attitudes and professional practice. Buckingham: Open University Press
Birren, J.E. et al. (Eds) (1996) Aging and biography. Exploration in adult development. New York: Springer
Binstock, R.H. (2006) Handbook of ageing and the social sciences. Academic Press
Jegermalm, M. (2005) Carers in the welfare state – On informal care and support for carers in Sweden. Academic dissertation. Stockholm University, Dept of Social Work
Kröger, T. (2005) Interplay between formal and informal care for older people: The state of the Nordic research. I M. Szebehely (Red) Äldreomsorgsforskning i Norden. En kunskapsöversikt (s. S. 243-280). Nordiska Ministerrådet, Tema Nord 2005:508
Linderborg, Hilkka. Pro Gradu. 2007. www.
Öberg, P & Tornstam, L (1999) Body images among men and women of different ages. Ageing & Society 19: 629-644
Öberg, P. & Tornstam, L., (2001) Youthfulness and Fitness - Identity Ideals for All Ages? Journal of Aging and Identity 6(1):15-29
Öberg, P. & Tornstam, L., (2003) Attitudes towards embodied old age among Swedes. International Journal of Aging & Human Development 56(2): 133-153
Öberg, P. (2003) Images versus experiences of the ageing body. In C. Faircloth (Ed.) Aging Bodies: Meanings and Perspectives (pp. 103-139). Walnut Creek, Clifornia: Alta Mira Press
Articles presented during the course

Study activities

  • Lectures - 45 hours
  • Individual studies - 105 hours


  • Total workload of the course: 150 hours
  • Of which autonomous studies: 105 hours
  • Of which scheduled studies: 45 hours

Mode of Delivery

Participation in tuition

Assessment methods


Assessment requirements

Marina Arell-Sundberg's part:
The examination is practical and does not require any written
material for submission. The assignment is to analyze music and from
that analysis create a choreography (= a senior-dance) for the elderly,
that takes in consideration both the social and physiological aspects of
The choreography will be presented at a seminar, where the students in
groups present their choreography, teach it to the audience,
do it together with the audience and discuss with the audience which
aspects were addressed.
The implementation is graded approved/ disapproved.

Home exam in Peter Öberg's part, graded 1-5.
Dead line for home-exam:21.3.2011. The exam is handed in to Marjaana Sanila.


Sanila Marjaana

Group size

No limit

Course completion date

Date for course completion will be announced later

Assignments valid until

12 months after course has ended

Assessment methods

2011-03-21 - Exams

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