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Personal Information
College Photo Name Timonen, Virpi
Main Department Sch Office - Social Work & Social Policy
College Title Professor
E-mail virpi.timonen@tcd.ie
College Tel +353 1 896 2950
Web http://people.tcd.ie/timonenv
Fax +353 1 671 2262
 
Biography
Having left Finnish Lapland (Rovaniemi) at the age of 16, I completed my schooling at the United World College of the Atlantic (Atlantic College for short) in Wales, and went on to study at the University of Heidelberg; Durham University (BA, St. Mary's College) and Oxford University (MPhil and DPhil, Magdalen College). My doctoral thesis and early publications analysed welfare state restructuring in the Nordic context, ensuing from the 1990s recessions in Finland and Sweden. I started lecturing in social policy in Trinity in 2003 and founded the Social Policy and Ageing Research programme in 2005. My current research focuses on intergenerational solidarity, experiences of and roles in old age, and policy pertaining to older adults, but I also have an interest in the entire life course, especially in the context of intergenerational family relations. Examples of latter include my research on grandparenthood (in particular, in the context of nuclear family breakdown); on the never-married older adults; and on how parents socialise their children in matters pertaining to sexuality and relatioships. These elements of my research agenda complement each other as some are micro-, others macro-focused. This sensitivity to individual and family level experiences in the context of social policies and welfare state structures invests my work with the ability to illuminate the inter-relationship of policy structures and individual agency in ageing societies. I also have extensive experience of working in inter-disciplinary contexts, most recently with health sciences researchers in a project trained at mapping out optimal care for people with motor neurone disease. I have published 60+ peer-reviewed articles in ISI-ranked international journals and chapters in books by major academic publishers. The leading journals I have published in include Social Science & Medicine, Ageing & Society, Family Relations, Qualitative Health Research, Journal of Aging Studies, Social Politics, Research on Aging, Health and Social Care in the Community, the Journal of Family Issues, the Journal of Social Policy, Qualitative Research and the European Journal of Ageing, among other important journals; I have authored or co-authored five books including a major introductory textbook titled Ageing Societies: A Comparative Introduction (Open University Press, 2008); and co-edited (with Prof. Sara Arber) the first book on grandparenting in global contexts (Policy Press, 2012). I have collaborated in the Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing (TILDA), with a focus on the social engagement, contributions and care of older adults. I have undertaken policy-relevant research for several government bodies, been a visiting researcher at the University of Turku, Finland and at the Australian National University, and participate actively in international scholarly organisations, in particular the International Sociological Association (ISA) Research Committee 11 (Sociology of Ageing). I was elected Fellow of Trinity College Dublin (FTCD) in May 2009 in recognition of achievements in research. In 2012, following peer-review, I was granted the title of Adjunct Professor, Social and Public Policy, at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. In addition to supervising PhD students at Trinity (eight successful completions to date), I am a member of PhD supervision panels at the University of Jyväskylä, and the University of British Columbia (Canada).
 
Representations
Details Date
Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of Aging Studies
Chairperson, Board sub-committee on Quality, Safety and Risk, St. James's hospital, Dublin 2013 -
Adjunct Professor, Social and Public policy, University of Jyväskylä, Finland 2012-
Board member, Board of St James's Hospital, Dublin 2013-2016
Executive Committee member, Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (www.tilda.tcd.ie) 2005 - 2013
More Representations>>>
 
Membership of Professional Institutions, Associations, Societies
Details Date From Date To
Gerontological Society of America
European Social Policy Association (ESPAnet), Board member
International Sociological Association (ISA) Research Committee 11 (Sociology of Ageing)
 
Awards and Honours
Award Date
Fellow of Trinity College Dublin Elected May 2009
 
Languages
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
Finnish Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Medium Basic Basic
German Fluent Medium Medium
Swedish Fluent Basic Basic
 
Description of Research Interests
My current research focuses on intergenerational solidarity, experiences of and roles in old age, and policy pertaining to older adults, but I also have an interest in the entire life course, especially in the context of intergenerational family relations. Examples of latter include my research on grandparenthood (in particular, in the context of nuclear family breakdown); on the never-married older adults; and on how parents socialise their children in matters pertaining to sexuality and relatioships. These elements of my research agenda complement each other as some are micro-, others macro-focused. This sensitivity to individual and family level experiences in the context of social policies and welfare state structures invests my work with the ability to illuminate the inter-relationship of policy structures and individual agency in ageing societies. I also have extensive experience of working in inter-disciplinary contexts, most recently with health sciences researchers in a project trained at mapping out optimal care for people with motor neurone disease. I have published 60+ peer-reviewed articles in ISI-ranked international journals and chapters in books by major academic publishers. The leading journals I have published in include Social Science & Medicine, Ageing & Society, Family Relations, Qualitative Health Research, Journal of Aging Studies, Social Politics, Research on Aging, Health and Social Care in the Community, the Journal of Family Issues, the Journal of Social Policy, Qualitative Research and the European Journal of Ageing, among other important journals; I have authored or co-authored five books including a major introductory textbook titled Ageing Societies: A Comparative Introduction (Open University Press, 2008); and co-edited (with Prof. Sara Arber) the first book on grandparenting in global contexts (Policy Press, 2012). Examples of international collaboration include participation in an EU framework project on welfare reform and societal change in seven EU countries (WRAMSOC) and pan-European research networks focusing on migrant labour in the elder care sector (MILES)and on home care policies for older people (LIVINDHOME). I have supervised eight PhDs to successful completion and currently supervise four PhD students. I am open to supervising postgraduate research students who wish to conduct qualitative primary or secondary (data archival) research. Most of my work has been on ageing and older adults, but I would be happy and capable of supervising qualitative PhDs pertaining to any part of the lifecourse, especially in the context of intergenerational family relationships.
 
Research Interests
Ageing and the life-course Community Services FAMILY FAMILY STUDIES
Globalization Governmental Functions Immigrants Intergenerational Solidarity
Migrant care workers Migration National Planning/Policy OLDER ADULTS
OLDER PEOPLE OLDER PERSONS Politics of the welfare state Senior Citizen Service Programs
Social Services Social Services Delivery Social Services Planning/Policy Social Welfare Planning/Policy
Social security policy Welfare Reform
 
Research Projects
Project title Living and dying with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Population based Analysis of Palliative Needs, Services and Outcomes in non-malignant terminal illness
Summary Lead-PI Prof Hardiman, Co-PIs Dr McQuillan, Profs Normand, Perry, Staines, Timonen
Funding Agency Health Research Board (HRB), Ireland
Programme Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement (ICE) award
Type of Project
Date from 2012
Date to 2015
Person Months


Project title Research with parents
Summary This project, commissioned by Ireland's Crisis Pregnancy Programme, focuses on how parents engage with their younger children on issues relating to sexuality. We will explore the factors that inhibit and enable age-appropriate communication between parents and young children aged between 4 and 9 years regarding relationships, sexuality and growing up. Focus groups with parents will be carried out exploring the meanings, practices and processes involved for them as they negotiate the place of information, education and discourses about relationships, sexuality and the body in everyday interaction with their young children. Co-Investigator with PI Dr Catherine Conlon (also of the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin).
Funding Agency Crisis Pregnancy Programme (HSE)
Programme
Type of Project Research project
Date from January 2014
Date to December 2014
Person Months


Project title Intergenerational Solidarity and Justice in Ireland
Summary This project interrogates understandings of intergenerational solidarity and justice among four different cohorts in Ireland (1. those emerging into the labour market at present; 2. people at mid-career/family formation stage; 3. recently retired or about to retire; 4. octogenarians), using a qualitative longitudinal design. The project will also communicate the key contours of these understandings to relevant stakeholder organisations and facilitate discourse between them and among the wider public. The emphasis is on eliciting understandings of societal intergenerational justice as shaped by social policies, but perceptions of intergeneratinal justice within families will also be studied. The Principal Investigators are Dr Virpi Timonen (TCD) and Prof Thomas Scharf (NUIG).
Funding Agency Atlantic Philanthropies
Programme
Type of Project
Date from June 2011
Date to June 2013
Person Months


Project title Living Independently at Home: Reforms in Organisation and Governance of European Home Care for Elderly and Disabled People
Summary The project will identify how 9 European countries have reformed their home help systems, by identifying the drivers of changes and responses in the organisation, provision, regulation and quality of home care/help. Hypotheses are that cross-national variation in reforms in home care policies 1) influence the involvement of different care sectors and the use of services vs. cash benefits, 2) shape the degree of formalisation/informalisation and the degree of professionalization, and 3) contribute to the quality of care. The study will be based on national legislation and statistics, national and international literature reviews, and on comparable OECD health data. The following countries participate: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Austria, UK and Ireland. The study will provide a timely overview of recent reforms in the organisation and governance of home care systems in 9 European countries, and will elucidate what are the intended and unintended results of the reforms, in particular how reforms have affected quality of care. This project is co-ordinated by Dr Tine Rostgaard, SFI, Denmark. PI for Irish strand of the study is Virpi Timonen, Co-Investigators Martha Doyle & Ciara O'Dwyer, Trinity College Dublin.
Funding Agency Ministère de la santé, de la jeunesse, des sports et de la vie associative (France)
Programme
Type of Project European collaborative research project led by The Danish National Centre for Social Research.
Date from 2010
Date to 2011
Person Months


Project title TILDA - the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing - Social engagement, intergenerational transfers & informal care provided and received by older people
Summary TILDA is a longitudinal study of the older adult(50+) population of Ireland. Using a large nationally representative random sample (8,000) of the older population, TILDA provides a comprehensive picture of the health, social and economic charactertistics of the ageing population in Ireland, and serves as an important resource for the scientific community and policy makers. The Principal Investigator of TILDA is Prof RA Kenny, Medical Gerontology, TCD. Co-Investigator for the Social Strand (Social engagement, social care and intergenerational transfers) is Virpi Timonen, working with Research Fellow Dr Yumiko Kamiya. See www.tilda.tcd.ie
Funding Agency
Programme
Type of Project
Date from 2006
Date to ongoing
Person Months


More Research Projects>>>
 
Publications and Other Research Outputs
Peer Reviewed
Conlon, C., Timonen, V., Carney, G. and Scharf, T., Women (re-)negotiating care across family generations: Intersections of gender and socioeconomic status, Gender & Society, forthcoming Oct 2014, 2014
Timonen, Virpi, Conlon, Catherine, Scharf, Thomas and Carney, Gemma, Family, state, class and solidarity: Re-conceptualising intergenerational solidarity through the Grounded Theory approach, European Journal of Ageing, 10, (3), 2013, p171 - 179
TARA - Full Text
Arber, S. and Timonen, V. (eds), Contemporary grandparenting: changing family relationships in global contexts, Bristol, Policy Press, 2012, 270pp
'Introduction: A new look at grandparenting' in, editor(s)Arber, S. and Timonen, V. , Contemporary grandparenting: changing family relationships in global contexts, Bristol, Policy Press, 2012, pp1 - 24, [Timonen, V. and Arber, S.]
'Grandparenting in the twenty-first century: New directions' in, Arber, S. and Timonen, V. , Contemporary grandparenting: changing family relationships in global contexts, Bristol, Policy Press, 2012, pp247 - 264, [Arber, S. and Timonen, V.]
More Publications and Other Research Outputs >>>
 

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Last Updated:18-SEP-2014