FRAL - Appel Franco-allemand en sciences humaines et sociales

The Social Production of Space and Age – A French-German Dialogue towards New Theoretical Approaches and Research Pathways – SPAGE

Submission summary

Theories, concepts and empirical data can travel between different linguistic and societal spheres. How theories of space enrich ageing and how, in turn, the analyses of the space of ageing can contribute to the questions of general sociology, has been approached from different angles in France and in Germany in the past.

The SPAGE project proposes 1) a systematic theoretical comparison of the interplay between age, space, and social exclusion in France and Germany, resulting in a comprehensive theoretical framework. 2) We will then empirically test the framework for potential societal differences and similarities between the two countries, aiming to use their synergy effect in order 3) to create a sustainable research network based on new theoretical approaches and epistemological pathways between Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (through the impulse of the Research Group ‘Doing Transitions’ and the Working Group ‘Interdisciplinary Ageing Research’) and the Université de Grenoble Alpes (through the laboratory of social sciences PACTE where thematic of ageing in public space is developing through ongoing/emerging ANR JCJC projects).

Related to the three objectives, the project plan is divided into three work packages. In the first work package, we start a French-German conceptual dialogue aimed at facilitating the exchange of theories, concepts and epistemological pathways used in French and German research on age, space, and social exclusion. On that basis, and facilitated through four “Conceptual workshops” in both countries, we formulate a joint framework. In the second work package, a systematic empirical comparison of the interplay between age, space, and social exclusion in France and Germany leads to a specification of the framework. This second objective is twofold: as a first step, we will compare ongoing research carried out in the respective research groups/countries in both countries (“Data analysis workshops”). Exploiting the potential similarities/differences between the countries, comparative workshops are organized with German and French older participants in the partner’s country to explore how similarities/differences observed in German and French research are experienced (or not) by older adults themselves (“Bridging workshops”). Third, SPAGE wants to challenge the dominant representations of age, such as “age-friendliness”, “active ageing” or “healthy ageing”. By creating a research network on age, space and exclusion through the link between the original research team of both principal investigators, SPAGE would bring forward the multiplicity of age-diversity and age practices (handicapped elderly people/fragile age/age and gender/age and lifespan/ migratory experiences) in the production of space.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Thibauld Moulaert (Pacte - Laboratoire de sciences sociales)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


PACTE Pacte - Laboratoire de sciences sociales
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

Help of the ANR 573,789 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: August 2022 - 36 Months

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