Aging in the plural

We often talk about the elderly as though old age was the same for everyone. And yet, aging is an experience that varies enormously from one person to another. The differences depend on individual diversity (sex, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, citizenship skills, abilities, disabilities, etc.), course of life and aging, as well as individual choices and opportunities. The research team VIES, directed by Michèle Charpentier from Université du Québec à Montréal, invites reflection on the question of aging processes, rather than the aging process.

In 2010, these researchers published the first French-language manual on social gerontology, Vieillir au pluriel – Perspectives sociales (Presses de l'Université du Québec). Divided into four sections, it brings together 45 texts written by researchers and workers that offer both theoretical reflections and conclusions drawn from practical experience. This volume offers a global portrait of aging, with an emphasis on analyzing social exclusion and various forms of solidarity. 

The first section takes a look at the different representations and definitions of age, aging issues in women, aging in people who have immigrated and the issues facing gay and lesbian elders. The second deals with physical and mental health, elder abuse, the medicalization of Alzheimer's patients and palliative care. In the third section, the social milieu and geographic situation of the elderly are examined, i.e. intergenerational relationships, the realities of caregiving and the issues related to aging and receiving care in a long-term care facility or at home, in a rural or urban environment. Finally, the last section addresses the realities facing elderly workers: "post-retirement" work, pension plans, Quebec public policy for the disabled elderly, volunteer work "by" and "for" the elderly and the many forms of civic engagement among the elderly. 

This work is an innovative tool providing decision makers and professional caregivers with a better understanding of the many realities that characterize aging, within the context of our aging population.


Équipe de recherche VIES


Michèle Charpentier, Université du Québec à Montréal

Regular members

  • Lucija Barylak, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Luce Beauregard, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Shari Brotman, Université McGill 
  • Brita Brown, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Normand Carpentier, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal 
  • Aline Charles, Université Laval 
  • Maxine Cohen, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Francine Cytrynbaum, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Bernadette Dallaire, Université Laval 
  • Patrick Durivage, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Esther Hockenstein, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Norma Gilbert, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Amanda Grenier, Université McGill 
  • Nancy Guberman, Université du Québec à Montréal 
  • Sarita Israel, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Jean-Pierre Lavoie, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Annette Leibing, Université de Montréal 
  • Nona Moscovitz, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Kareen Nour, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Jean-Ignace Olazabal, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Manon Parisien, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Anne Quéniart, Université du Québec à Montréal 
  • Alan Regenstreif, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Viviane Saginur, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Andrée Sévigny, Université Laval 
  • Marjorie Silverman, CSSS Cavendish 
  • Tamara Sussman, Université McGill 
  • Daniel Thomas, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue