AAGE member panels at the IUAES Inter-Congress, May 15-18, 2014 in Chiba, Japan

The International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Studies will be holding its annual Inter-Congress in Chiba, Japan from May 15-18. It will be held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary meeting of JASCA (Japanese Association of Social and Cultural Anthropology). According to the IUAES Commission on Aging and the Life Course, co-chaired by Leng Leng Thang and Maria Cattell, there were a large number of panels on aging at the last major conference in Manchester, England in 2013. Since I will be attending, I’ve been going through the abstracts finding panels that include papers on aging and the life course, so I thought I’d share what I found.

First, there are two sessions of interest this year were organized by members AAGE, and include presentations by several members as well (marked with an *):

Considering ideas and practices to create “age-friendly communities” (NME panel), convened by Nanami Suzuki* (National Museum of Ethnology, Japan)

Short Abstract: Based on the viewpoint of research on aging that the environment which meets older adults’ diverse needs leads a vision of “age-friendly communities” where multi-generations live together, we examine the initiative for creating such environment, focusing on people’s developing cultural resources.

Papers presentations

Engineering for Humanity: partnering college students with older adults for healthy aging-in-place – Caitrin Lynch*

A consideration on various means to pursue the well-being of older adults in a Japanese depopulated community: a case study of the 2004 earthquake stricken area in Niigata Prefecture’s Chuetsu region – Yoko Taniguchi

Transforming geographic disadvantage: how Ojika islanders turn their hardships around – Chikako Yamada

The role of cultural institutions in creating age-friendly society: the comparative study of Polish and Japanese societies – Jacek Splisgart

Ginkgo Hand-in-Hand Station (GS): consideration of future elder daycare center in community due to volunteer service feedback – Xinyan Chi

The role of meals in creating age-friendly communities for the American and Japanese elderly – Mariko Fujita-Sano

Age-friendly community and cultural resources: considering the experience of care workers in a private sector elderly care institution that experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake – Nanami Suzuki*

Preparing for a “happy ending”: debates on end-of-life treatment and the well-dying movement in South Korea – Hyunsoo Hong

Designing a “coupling” internship program for age-friendly communities: in search of new standards for global leaders – Kuniko Fujiwara

Complete abstracts and information can be found here

Politics of life and death and the practice of caring, convened by Ender Ricart* and Jason Danely*

This panel brings into dialogue research on transforming notions and enactments of life, aging, death, and the mediating practice of care with emerging political, institutional, economic, and health-care landscapes as nations around the world begin to prepare for future aging societies.

Paper presentations

Narratives surrounding end-of-life care in an institutional setting: a case study of an old age home on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka – Sae Nakamura

“Subjects” or “bare bodies”? On the relationship between nursing home staff and mentally impaired elderly people – Haim Hazan and Noa Vana

Caring for ancestors: end-of-life care in Shanxi, China – Eric Miller*

Strong choices/weak choices: care recipients’ responses to the structural change of the local welfare system for the elderly in Finland – Erika Takahashi

Care-prevention and emerging ontologies of healthy aging in Japan – Ender Ricart*

Watching over life and death: the politics of precarious solitude in an aging Japanese urban community – Jason Danely*

Caring, suffering and dying in the diaspora: management of death in transnational settings – Africans in Portugal – Clara Saraiva

Taming death: the ethics of care and technologies of protection in a “homeless town” in Japan – Jieun Kim

Complete abstracts and information can be found here

In addition to these panels, there are a number of individual papers in other sessions that would be of interest to anthropologists who study aging. These papers include three in a session titled “The sensory experience of suffering and healing” (convened by Junko Iida)

Fundamental perceptions: why patients in a palliative care ward close to death receive rehabilitation – Matsuoka Hideaki

Creating the circumstances of care together: interactions in the network of palliative care – Junko Iida

Bodily ‘ways’ to healing among the elderly Japanese in Kuala Lumpur – Shiori Shakuto-Neoh

Also, the panel “Reinventing folkloristics as a study of modernity: Japanese perspectives” (convened by Michiyo Iwamoto) will include the paper

Family and “family-like” people: conflicts over community-based elderly care – Mari Kagaya


Are you planning on attending IUAES 2014? If I missed anything, please add it in the comments section below!



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