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Dancing Together for Social Sustainability from a Life Course Perspective - Integrating Children and Senior Citizens in Action Research Project

Ziegert, Kristina, Karlsson, Staffan, Kristén, Lars, Ivarsson, Andreas

Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)


This project has its starting-point in dance project with children and senior citizens. Children and senior citizen have their own health challenges. The Swedish culture does not encourage intergenerational activities in organizations and communities. Intergenerational contacts are in many terms referred to within families, except certain environments such as the educational institutions. Especially, the intergenerational contacts between children and senior citizens are neglected as an important factor in promoting knowledge and health in society. It does not need to be questioned, that both knowledge and health contributes to the sustainability in society. If individuals from different generations have the opportunity to exercise physical activities together, it is likely that it generates positive values for social sustainability. Social constructivism combined with a life course perspective is the fundamental theoretical standpoint for this project.  We will explain the complex matter of how theses processes of “constructed realities” are accomplish before approaching the central ideas of social constructivism in relation to our project.

The overall aim was to understand the knowledge of the social value of intergenerational physical activities, and how different age groups communicate their experiences in a life course perspective. There were many things we could learn in a life course perspective through activities among children and senior citizens, and how we could make use of this knowledge for implementations for social sustainability in general. This study included a three-stage process qualitative data from 48 stakeholders describing in individuals diaries about daily exercise, collected during one and a half year, with focus groups interviews with 24 children and 24 senior citizens. The third stage dancing activities was conducted, and follow up interviews with both participants. The thematic analysis was used emerge the results. We found a common joy for both children and senior citizens when performing the physical activities. Women believed physical activities improved their inclusion and social networks. The men found that the physical activities improved their wellbeing and health.

Citera: Ziegert, Kristina, Karlsson, Staffan, Kristén, Lars & Ivarsson, Andreas, Dancing Together for Social Sustainability from a Life Course Perspective - Integrating Children and Senior Citizens in Action Research Project, 2019