From environmental stress to spatial expulsion - rethinking concepts of socio-spatial exclusion in later life

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Anna Wanka
Thibauld Moulaert
Matthias Drilling

Abstract

Gerontology has a longstanding tradition of researching the relationship between older adults and their socio-spatial environments. However, environmental gerontology often shares a positivistic understanding of space as either a “prosthetic” or a stressor and consequently searches for the “best fit” between a person and their environment. In this article, we argue for a stronger theoretical corpus on social and territorial exclusion in later life by exploring concepts from urban and environmental sociology, as well as examining the usefulness of these concepts for gerontological thinking. In doing so, we discuss trans-European research traditions beyond the hegemonic body of Anglo-Saxon literature. In conclusion, we discuss how gerontology and sociology might exchange ideas in order to build a stronger theoretical background on the relations between age, space and exclusion.

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