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How Do Social Networks Change Amidst Decline?

Thursday, October 25, 2018, 4:00 p.m.
Broad Auditorium, Claude Pepper Center
636 West Call St.

The college is conducting a search to fill the Mildred and Claude Pepper Eminent Scholar Chair in Social Gerontology, formerly held by Professor Emerita Jill Quadagno. We currently have three scholars under consideration. Each will give a talk on campus.

The full title of Markus Schafer's talk is "How Do Social Networks Change Amidst Decline? Residential Context and Cars in the Disablement Process." The onset of disability is believed to undermine social connections and raise the risk of social isolation, yet research on how functional health intersects with social network change often bypasses basic elements of the surrounding physical environment. To address that theme, Schafer will present two studies using longitudinal data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project focusing on home and neighborhood conditions and driving limitations. Both studies underscore how the social network consequences of functional decline are situated within physical environments.

Markus Schafer is an associate professor of sociology and a faculty associate of the Institute of Life Course and Aging at the University of Toronto. He currently serves as an associate editor of Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences and on the editorial board of several other interdisciplinary journals.