This work package will explore the importance of ageing and intergenerational relations for social participation and civil society. In particular, we will investigate the impact of ageing on participation in civil society through the lens of crime across the life course and the extent to which this, and the fear of crime, influence the ways in which older people are involved in their communities. We will draw on critical writings challenging the 'myths surrounding ageing' to situate the debate surrounding the age-fear of crime link.
The research will consist of a number of distinct steps. It will start with a comprehensive literature review; followed by an audit of existing quantitative and qualitative data sources on ageing and social participation in Wales. Once data sources have been mapped in relation to content, methodology and relevance; we will identify data sources of most relevance to the current research. Subsequently, we will carry out extensive secondary data analyses of a number of large-scale national surveys as well as relevant qualitative data sources. The methodology will be underpinned by a ‘life-span methodological framework’ aiming to distinguish between age effects; cohort effects; and period effects (see Ng, 1998, 110). Links between datasets will be made where this is appropriate; the feasibility of building a customised dataset based on data integration will be assessed; and the feasibility of visualisation of data from different sources will be explored.
We have identified the following datasets for secondary analysis but expect to add to this list following our data audit: Crime Survey for England and Wales, a selection of data from datasets available between 1982 to date; preliminary data analysis indicated the importance of trends in affecting levels of fear of crime. English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. European Social Survey 2008. Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe.
This theme will be explored in-depth with data at Wales-wide level and comparatively at England and Wales, and European levels. Analyses will focus on building a comprehensive picture of the relationship of different demographic factors on ageing and social participation. This will include a variety of analyses, aiming to look at the data from different perspectives and using different analytical tools, such as time-series analyses; multiple correspondence analysis; latent class analysis; regression analyses; and other forms of analyses as is appropriate to the dataset identified.
- What can existing data sources tell us about ageing, social participation and civil society?
- How do narratives about active ageing influence narratives about barriers for participation?
- What are the barriers to older people’s participation in civil society? Specifically:
- Do perceptions of crime, in particular fear of crime; and perceptions of young people influence older people’s involvement in their community?
- o How does ageing influence perceptions of young people, levels of fear of crime, levels of crime, social trust, and views and expectations of the criminal justice system?
- o Are expectations and attitudes linked to the life course or other factors such as place; health; status; levels of deprivation; transition into retirement; crime levels; etc.?
- Do existing theoretical frameworks for ageing have the capacity to account for social participation in civil society?