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New perspectives on loneliness: developing theory, methodology and evidence practice

Funding body

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Investigator(s)

Principal investigator: Professor Christina Victor
Co-investigator: Dr Mary Sullivan
Co-investigator: Mike Thomas (University of Kent)

 

Project description

Loneliness is perceived as a 'normal part of ageing' and older people perceived as lonely and isolated. Indeed older people themselves expect to experience loneliness in later life.

By focusing on loneliness and older people we have neglected wider life course and intergenerational perspective and marginalised research with young people; carers; those with learning disabilities; LGBT people and those residents in group settings.

Specific academic disciplines such as those of the arts and humanities and philosophy remain largely invisible and there is a need to develop a 'second generation' research agenda bringing a more sophisticated approach to the study of loneliness, empirically and theoretically, and embracing a much broader range of academic disciplines and populations in order to inform the development of policy and practice based interventions.

Our seminar series focuses upon the theoretical, methodological and empirical perspectives on loneliness across the life course and is both original and of academic, practice and policy relevance. We have been focusing on generating substantive state of the art overview of contemporary knowledge, identifying our key knowledge gaps, examining the evidence for policy and practice, developing 'new ' researchers and creating a network of experienced and emerging researchers combining with practitioners and policy makers to develop vibrant collaborations and a mechanism to raise the profile of this important area of work.