Symposium - Life Course and Everyday Life of Older People Living in Poverty


Old-age poverty is defined as the accumulation of structural inequalities (in terms of educational attainment, household type, health, employment history, caring responsibilities, etc.) and intersecting statuses (gender, ethnicity, disability, etc.). The complexity of the sources of inequality that manifest themselves in poverty is the result of a historical development and cannot be explained in the context of the current situation alone. This is why a life course perspective is essential when studying poverty. The phenomenon of poverty in old age needs to be examined by considering the effects at the structural level, at the level of cultural patterns, and at the level of public policies in a longitudinal perspective.

The main aim of the symposium is to explore how the welfare state over time (since the end of World War II) defines, standardizes, and frames the lives of older people living in poverty and how it influences the choices older people make over their life-course.

Furthermore, by examining the processes and events in the lives of older people that have affected their social status in old age, this symposium seeks to identify the key factors that need to be taken into account when developing measures, regulations and policies to reduce poverty.

The themes:

  • The interconnectedness of the welfare state, the life course and the daily lives of older people.
  • How living in two political systems (socialism, capitalism) affected the income in old age and what happened after the transition to capitalism.
  • Methods used in researching disadvantages over the life course and everyday life in poverty.
  • Social divisions in later life – how the inequalities are generated in later life and how they affect livelihoods of old people.

When: November 28th and 29th, 2024

Where: Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Fee: No fee

Abstract: Please send the abstract, no longer than 300 words and up to 6 keywords, to

Important dates:

  • Abstract submission by September 15, 2024.
  • Notification of acceptance by September 30, 2024.

Keynote speakers:

  • Pat Thane, Ph.D., Fellow of the British Academy, Visiting Professor in History, Birkbeck College, London; Professor Emerita University of London: Speech title: The Diverse Life Experiences of Older People in Britain since 1900.
  • Sanela Bašić Čekić, Ph.D., member of the executive board of the Network for Research of Social Services in the Context of (Political) Conflict, University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Political Sciences, Head of the social work department. Speech title: Gender, Age, and Poverty in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Navigating Challenges from Socialism to Neoliberalism.
  • Paul Higgs. Ph.D., Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. Professor of the Sociology of Ageing, Faculty of Brain Sciences, University College London. Speech titleSocial divisions in later life – how do we understand inequalities in later life and how they relate to the transformation of old age in the 21st century.
  • Rainer Gabriel Ph.D., Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Associated Researcher LIVES - Swiss Centre for Expertise in Life Course Research. Speech title: Operationalizing the Life Course in Quantitative Research: Developments in data collection, availability and analysis.

The Programme at a glance:

28. November 29. November

8.30 Registration        

9.00 Opening speeches

9.15 Keynote speech 

10.15 Break               

10.30 Panel discussion

12.00 Lunch break     

13.00 Keynote speech

14.00 Break               

14.15 Panel discussion

15.45 End of first day

9.00 Keynote speech

10.00 Break

10.15 Panel discussion

11.45 Lunch Break

12.45 Keynote speech

13.45 Break

14.00 Panel discussion

15.30 Concluding remarks





The authors acknowledge the project Everyday life and life course of old people living in poverty J5-4587 was financially supported by the Slovenian Research Agency.