Elisabeth's research focuses on understanding the relationships between social networks, social stratification and the construction of vulnerability over the lifecourse. She is interested in the negotiation of care and support in older people’s family and community networks and the impacts of migration on these. Her academic background is interdisciplinary, combining anthropology and demography, and her research merges qualitative and quantitative methods, with ethnography informing the design and interpretation of survey sources.
She sits on the editorial board of Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology and Ageing and Society.
Elisabeth is Head of Department, Director of Research and and Academic Integrity Officer for the Gerontology Department.
- Care in later life
- Older people's social and support networks
- Ageing and migration
- Social stratification over the lifecourse
ESRC Project on Care Networks: Until March 2023, Elisabeth was Principal Investigator of an ESRC-funded research project titled “Care networks in later life: A comparative study of Indonesia using ethnography and surveys” (10/2019 – 03/2023). This was a collaboration with the University of Oxford, Loughborough University and Atma Jaya Catholic University in Indonesia. The project investigates what care needs older Indonesians have; who provides care; what acceptable care looks like; and how care-dependent people are evaluated. It involved ethnographic research in five diverse communities across Indonesia, combined with collection of household survey data and analysis of existing national-level surveys. Further details: https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=ES%2FS013407%2F1
Australian Research Council Project on Vulnerabilities Across the Lifecourse: Elisabeth was co-investigator on an Australian Research Council funded project (2017-2021) which investigated social, health and economic vulnerabilities across the lifecourse in six Indonesian communities, utilising a common ethnographic, household survey and life history approach. The project is led by Prof Lyn Parker from the University of Western Australia. Elisabeth's focus within the project was on three lifecourse stages (family formation, middle-age and old age) to examine the role of social networks and welfare provision in mitigating the impacts of common lifecourse vulnerabilities.
Transnational migration, care and support: Elisabeth recently completed research on the local and transnational support networks of older Transylvanian Saxons in Romania. This German-speaking minority experienced dramatic outmigration to Germany in recent decades, leaving a predominantly older population in Romania. The research investigated transnational care and support, the role of the church and neighbours, and the transformation of local communities and support arrangements following emigration. The findings from this research have been published in Ageing and Society; and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.
Ageing in Indonesia: Between 1999 and 2006 Elisabeth was involved in comparative, ethnographic and demographic research on ageing in Indonesia, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the British Academy. The research, led by Dr Philip Kreager at the University of Oxford, examined support networks and intergenerational relationships of older people in Indonesia. Findings have been widely published, including in Population and Development Review; Ageing and Society; Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology; Demographic Research; and Asian Population Studies.
I teach across a range of modules in Gerontology, and I currently convene or co-convene the following modules:
GERO6019 Demographic Change, Ageing and Globalisation
GERO6012 Demographic Change, Ageing and Globalisation (DL)
GERO6017 Researching Ageing Societies
GERO6013 Researching Ageing Societies (DL)
External roles and responsibilities
Elisabeth joined the Gerontology Department in 2006 and helped to develop the MSc in Gerontology. She is currently Associate Professor and Head of Department. She studied BA (Hons) Human Sciences at Oxford University and MSc Medical Demography at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. After spending two years as researcher at Bielefeld University in Germany, she returned to Oxford for her DPhil on old-age support and intergenerational relations in Indonesia. Between 2004 and 2006 Elisabeth was British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at St Antony’s College and the Institute of Human Sciences at Oxford.
- Vice-Chancellor's Award For Gerontology Programme Team (2012)