Sandra Torres holds a Ph.D. and is Prof. of Sociology & Chair of Social Gerontology. "In recognition of outstanding achievement and exemplary contributions to the field of gerontology", she was awarded Fellow status by the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), and is Editor-in-Chief of Ageing & Society. GSA awarded the Richard M. Kalish Innovative Publication Award to her for Ethnicity & Old Age: Expanding our Imagination. She is a member of the (Swedish) Royal Society of Sciences.
Akademiska meriter: FD, prof. i sociologi 10, ssk socialgerontologi
Prof. Torres is a sociologist of aging who has conducted numerous studies that problematize old age-related constructs, shed critical light on commonly used methods in health and social care and deconstruct some of the taken for granted assumptions that guide policy and practice for the older segments of our populations. This is why she is often regarded as a critical gerontologist. Sandra's main scholarly contributions have aimed to expand the social gerontological imagination through the use of knowledge gathered in the sociology of ethnicity/ race and migration.
Prior to joining the professorial team of the Department of Sociology, Sandra held (between 2008-2012) an (adjunct) professorship in rehabilitation and aging (at Oslo University College in Norway; an institution that is now called Oslo Met), and a professorship in social work (between 2009-2010) at Mälardalen University in Sweden.
Since 2021, Sandra is the Editor-in-Chief of Ageing & Society; one of the leading journals in the socio-behavioral sciences of aging with an impact of 3.718 (according to the 2021 Journal Citation Report). Between 2018-2023 (June), Sandra was the President of the Research Committee on Aging of the Int'l. Sociological Association (also known as ISA's RC-11). She is also the President of the Socio-Behavioral Section of the Int'l. Association of Gerontology & Geriatrics: European Region (IAGG-ER). As such, she is a member of the Executive Committee of IAGG-ER. Between 2006-2021, she co-convened the Gerontological Society of America's Interest Group on International Aging and Migration.
Her latest sole authored book - which is entitled Ethnicity & Old Age: Expanding our Imagination (Policy Press, 2019) - received the Gerontological Society of America's Richard M. Kalish Innovative Publication Book Award in 2021. Her latest co-edited collections are the Handbook on Migration and Ageing (Elgar Publishing, 2023), and the one entitled Critical Gerontology for Social Workers (Policy Press, 2022). Her latest publications in Swedish include a co-edited collection entitled Äldrevård och omsorgen i migrationens tidevarv (published by Studentlitteratur in 2021).
Past achievements (highlights):
At the national level and in terms of some of the latest policy contributions that Prof. Torres has made, it is perhaps interesting to mention that Sandra was one of the scientific experts who worked on the policy plan on eldercare quality that the the Swedish Government launched in 2017 (which in Swedish is called the SOU Nationella Kvalitetsplan för Äldreomsorgen). At the European level, Sandra was one of the first emerging scholars to receive the ERA-AGE grant known as FLARE: Future Leader of Aging Research in Europe; a grant she received to study the intersection of migration and aging while specifically focusing on eldercare. Thus, it is perhaps understandable that she was involved in the research networks that first launched European research on the intersection of migration and aging back in the mid 2000's (such as those funded by the European Research Foundation which was the predecessor to the COST-framework).
Most recently, Sandra was a member of both the Steering and the Management Committee for the COST- ACTION on old age and social exclusion known as ROSENet; a network that brought together 180+ researchers from 41 countries and had funding between 2016-2020. Together with Prof. Ariela Lowenstein (Haifa University, Israel), she co-led the Working Group on Civic Exclusion in this COST-funded network.
Sandra sits also on the Editorial Board of established peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Aging Studies and Ethnicity & Health as well as in more recently established ones such as Vulnerable Groups and Inclusion and Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift. She was also one of the founders of, and Associate Editors for, one of the first open-access journals in gerontology: the International Journal of Ageing and Later Life for many years, and served also in the board of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences and Social Policy & Society.
In terms of contributions made to Uppsala University, and the Department of Sociology which she joined in 2010, it is perhaps worth mentioning that Sandra co-founded (in 2012) - together Prof. em. Rafael Lindqvist - the Research Group on Welfare; a group that brings together close to thirty researchers who are trained in either sociology or social work, and conduct research on inequality and welfare. She co-lead this group between 2012-2020 (at first with Prof. Lindqvist, and then with Prof. Hannah Bradby). In the Fall of 2023, she will co-lead this group again; this time with Prof. Matilda Hellman who joined this department in 2023.
Sandra was Head of Department between 2020-2021, and Deputy Head of Department between 2014-2018. It is in the later capacity that she played an instrumental role in securing the university funding necessary to establish the Centre for Social Work (CESAR), the chair in social work as well as the PhD program in that discipline. This center operated out of the Department of Sociology for many years since education in social work was originally primarily offered by sociologists working on social care and welfare-related issues in this university. This center was re-named the Institute for Social Work in 2023 and it is now a department of its own.
Between 2010-2019, Prof. Torres led The Social Gerontology Group which was comprised of researchers in social gerontology from Uppsala University, Stockholm University and Gävle University College. This group was founded by the late Prof. Lars Tornstam back in the mid 1990's, who held the first Chair in Social Gerontology at Uppsala University. It is that Chair that Prof. Torres now holds, and since she joined the Department of Sociology back in 2010, she has been dedicated to mentoring a new generation of sociologists with an array of different specializations.
Sandra's research has often (but not always) focused on the intersection of migration and aging. Funding for her work has often come from two research councils for social sciences, i.e. the Swedish Research Council (or Vetenskapsrådet in Swedish), and the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (known as FORTE in Swedish). Her most recent grant has been awarded by the latter for the Swedish part of a five country European project on older people's civic participation, known as CIVEX (which stands for 'Exclusion from civic engagement of a diverse older population: features, experiences and policy implications').
CIVEX is funded as part of the Joint Programming Initiative More Years, Better Lives, which is a collaboration between European and national research programs, which is why FORTE funds the Swedish part of the project. The CIVEX consortium includes five European countries selected to represent contrasting welfare state regimes and socio-cultural contexts: Anglo-Saxon (UK), Continental (Belgium), Nordic (Sweden and Finland) and Southern (Spain). As a whole, CIVEX is lead by Dr. Rodrigo Serrat (Univ. of Barcelona); see www.civex.eu for more information. Prof. Torres leads the Swedish team o, and together with Dr. Serrat, she leads the study that relies on qualitative life-course interviews (n=240). For information in Swedish about CIVEX see: Samhälleliga engagemang bland den äldre befolkningen - Sociologiska institutionen - Uppsala universitet (uu.se)
In addition to the CIVEX project, Sandra is currently the Primary Investigator for a project on the documentation practices that needs assessors within eldercare rely on. This project aims to shed light on how care managers within eldercare (which is the term often used for needs assessors) reason about documentation practices in general, and especially in light of the increasing demands for standardization that are placed on welfare representatives. To address this aim, the project relies on focus group interviews (n=100). In addition, the project analyzes (both quantitatively and qualitatively) the case files that need assessors use (n=1,200 approx.). The project is being conducted in collaboration with Prof. Anna Olaison (Linköping University; who is primarily responsible for the data collection via focus groups) and Dr. Maricel Knechtel (Uppsala University; who is primarily responsible for the quantitative analysis of case files). For information about this project (in both English and Swedish) see: Dokumentationspraktik inom äldreomsorgen - Department of Sociology - Uppsala University, Sweden (uu.se)
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