The overall aim of this workshop is to bring together international experts studying the relationship between objective and subjective well-being and older adults/ageing societies in various fields to present their latest ideas and empirical research in order to help develop an agenda for future research on well-being in the ageing society. The discussion will focus on China, Japan, and Germany, as these societies represent different stages of economic development, speed of demographic change, cultural values concerning families and older people, and social policies which vary widely due to specific circumstances and historical path dependence. We plan to discuss three general questions:
- How do well-being, satisfaction, and happiness change over the life course in China, Japan, and Germany?
- What are the individual, economic, and societal factors that affect well-being, satisfaction, and happiness of older adults in China, Japan, and Germany?
- Which societal institutions, cultural frameworks and social policies help to enhance the well-being, satisfaction, and happiness under conditions of population ageing in China, Japan and Germany?
After comparing the demographic situation in China, Japan, and Germany, empirical evidence on psychological well-being over the life course in these three countries will be discussed, concentrating on the individual factors that influence life satisfaction and happiness as people age. We will then move on to discuss the role of societal and economic factors for subjective well-being. Finally, we will focus on policies for active ageing and well-being in ageing societies. We hope that the comparative perspective of the workshop will be productive for learning from each other in terms of general challenges and opportunities that China, Japan, and Germany are facing due to demographic and social changes. Despite the many differences between the three countries in regards to economic development, social structure and political system notwithstanding, they share the challenge of rapid population ageing.
The presentations are intended to stimulate discussion of research topics, methods and ideas that could suggest new avenues for studying the well-being of people in ageing societies from a cross-cultural perspective. Hence, the presentations should be brief and concise (10 minutes maximum) and focus on the three questions posed above. (a) life course trajectories of well-being; (b) individual, economic, and societal factors affecting well-being in late life; (c) institutions, cultural values, economic factors and social policies enhancing well-being.
The workshop is expected to facilitate future collaborative studies among participants. By focusing on the discussion among experts from various disciplines we hope to encourage the cross-pollination among disciplines and leverage the creative potential of our cross-national and multi-disciplinary setting.
Stiftung Mercator Foundation