Pushed to the edge of society: Social exclusion among older women and men in Sweden

PI: Lena Dahlberg, ldh@du.se

Older people in Sweden have a higher relative risk of poverty than is average in the European Union, and this is especially true of women. Social exclusion, a process whereby some individuals are prevented from participating fully in society, provides a framework for understanding the complexity of disadvantage across different life domains. However, recent reviews of social exclusion research find little focus on older people and a lack of a gender perspective. This project uses data from the Swedish Level of Living Survey and Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old to examine the process of social exclusion in older women and men in Sweden. These national studies provide the opportunity to explore the relationship between social exclusion and the life domains of production activity, material resources, social relationships, civic activities, local neighborhood, and services.

This project will answer the following questions: To what extent are older people excluded across different life domains? How is exclusion across domains interrelated? To what extent do people move into/out of social exclusion? What are the risk factors for social exclusion? What are the outcomes of social exclusion? How does social exclusion vary for women and men? The findings will generate a greater understanding of social exclusion processes and thereby contribute to more integrated and effective policy to combat the social exclusion of older people.

The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life, and Welfare (Forte).