Strand 9

Life courses and generations in a feminist and intersectional perspective

Coordinators: Daniela Cherubini, University of Milano-Bicocca; Rassa Ghaffari, University of Milano-Bicocca; Edyta Just, Linköping University & AtGender; Sofia Laine, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences – Juvenia; Emanuela Sala, University of Milano-Bicocca.

→ abstracts to be sent to:, 

This strand aims at collecting theoretical and empirical contributions exploring the interplay between ages, life courses, generations, and feminist and intersectional perspectives in a variety of contexts.

Nowadays, the transition to adulthood and other stages of life takes place in the context of growing uncertainty and deep social, cultural, and political transformations. Global and local challenges are redefining the boundaries and relationships between generations, paving the way to new forms of intergenerational inequalities and conflicts but also of solidarity and social bonds. In this frame, feminist and intersectional reflections can offer a valuable contribution to improve our understanding of social transformations in life courses and transitions, to expand our knowledge on different age groups’ instances and trajectories (children, adolescents, young people, young adults, adults, and the elderly) and to look at intergenerational relations under a new light.

The current pandemic crisis and the ongoing climate emergency have exacerbated existing intergenerational inequalities, impacted on biographical trajectories, and further jeopardized the ability of young people and other age groups to plan their own present and future. But they might also act as a game-changer, bringing out unexpected bonds between generations and age groups, and further modifying the meanings and boundaries of life stages. A feminist and intersectional view on social change may help to grasp the new social practices that women, men and non-binary subjectivities, at different life stages and social positions, develop to cope with this situation, the innovative strategies they deploy for building their identities, (re)shaping their biographical projects, and giving meaning to their social world. It may also help us to critically analyse the policies enacted to govern or respond to the challenges that await us in pandemic and post-pandemic times.

On these premises, the panel welcomes contributions from all disciplinary and methodological perspectives including both theoretical reflections and empirical case studies focusing on the interactions between generations, life courses, social transformations, and feminist theories and approaches. 

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • Life course and social change from feminist and intersectional perspectives

  • The intersectionality of social identities and social divisions in the sociology of ages and life courses; the interplay of ageism and other forms of discrimination (sexism, ableism, racism, etc), in people’s life courses, biographical trajectories and transitions 

  • Children, adolescents, young people, young adults, and their transition to adulthood; new adulthoods and ageing strategies and trajectories

  • Risks and opportunities for active ageing promotion in pandemic and post-pandemic societies 

  • New generational boundaries; relations between generations (interdependence, solidarity, support, conflicts); intergenerational inequalities; feminist and intersectional views on the intergenerational social contract

  • The pandemic through the life course; impact on different age groups and generations; biographical impact; strategies developed by children, young people, adults, grand adults to deal with the crisis

  • Impact and perceptions of the climate emergency for different generations

  • Research on migrants’ descendants, youth belonging to ethnic/language/cultural/religious minorities, and racialized children, adolescent, and young people; post/decolonial views on youth action

  • Research on multiple marginalized social groups and identities where age intersects with other marginal social positions (e.g., sexual minority youth, racialized elder people, queer-crip adulthood, etc)

  • Critical assessment of social policies regulating life course transitions (i.e., youth policies, ageing policies, policies supporting parenthood); age-based assumptions in social policies; interplay of ageism and other forms of discrimination in social policies and institutional interventions (i.e., social work, immigration, family, education and labour policies)

  • Feminist youth movements; feminist activism during the life course