Social Sciences

Elisabeth Schröder-Butterfill

MSc, DPhil

Primary position:
Lecturer in Gerontology


The University of Southampton
Dr Elisabeth Schröder-Butterfill's photo

"I am interested in ageing, the life course and social networks in developing and transitional societies. "

I joined the Centre for Research on Ageing in October 2006. I studied human sciences at Oxford University, then obtained an MSc Medical Demography at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. After two years as researcher at Bielefeld University in Germany, I returned to Oxford, where in 2002 I obtained my DPhil. Between 2004 and 2006 I was British Academy postdoctoral research fellow at St Antony’s College and the Institute of Human Sciences at Oxford.


Research Interests

I am interested in ageing, the life course and social networks in developing and transitional societies. My academic background is interdisciplinary, combining demography, anthropology and sociology, and my research merges qualitative and quantitative methods, with ethnography informing the design and interpretation of survey sources.

Since 1999 I have been conducting research on ageing in Indonesia. Among other things I have studied intergenerational family support; vulnerability in old age; and the role of childlessness, divorce, migration and social stratification in shaping access to support in later life. Consultancy work examined pensions and social security reform. Currently I am investigating kin and community network responses to life course transitions in later life (illness, frailty, bereavement), and the negotiation of responsibilities among network members. This includes analysis of the involvement of semi-formal institutions, such as Islamic and community charity, in support provision. I am also interested in determinants of the quality and acceptability of end-of-life care. This research is being written up as a monograph.

More recently, together with Julia Schonheinz, I have embarked on research examining the local and transnational support networks of older Transylvanian Saxons in Romania. This German-speaking ethnic minority has experienced dramatic outmigration to Germany in recent decades, leaving a predominantly older population in Romania. The research investigates the relative importance of local versus transnational kin support, the role of the church and neighbours, and the emergence of transnational ethnicity-based welfare arrangements.


Dr Elisabeth Schröder-Butterfill
Reception Building 58
University of Southampton
SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom

Room Number: 58/4109

Telephone: (023) 8059 6880
Facsimile: (023) 8059 3859