6. Active Ageing: Intergenerational Relationships and Social Generativity

Giovanna ROSSI a, Lucia BOCCACIN b, Donatella BRAMANTI b, Stefania G. MEDAb

a Centro di Ateneo Studi e Ricerche sulla Famiglia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy

b Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy

Abstract. This contribution is a reflection on the concept of active ageing from the perspective of relational sociology. At the same time, it offers practical implications and outlines possible future courses of action, in the face of demographic and relational scenarios rapidly changing, and the challenges that each day people of all generations are called to cope with. Active ageing is quite a recent concept and indicates an attitude towards ageing that enhances the quality of life as people become older. The goal of active ageing is to enable people to realise their potential for physical, social and mental well-being and to participate in social life also in the last stage of the life cycle. In this phase, the presence of a network of support, security and care adequate to the possible onset of problems and criticalities is crucial. Relational sociology frames the phenomenon of an ageing population in a dense network of social relations, primarily at the level of family and community. For this reason, as supported by the most recent sociological literature and evidence from studies conducted in Italy and abroad (cf. SHARE), it is extremely important to investigate the link between active ageing, intergenerational orientation (solidarity and exchanges) and practices of pro-sociality (i.e. engagement in third-sector activities and volunteering in later life).

Keywords. Active ageing, Ageing, Relationships, Agency, Family, Third Sector