Disegnare un nuovo Welfare sociale: una sfida per le politiche di educazione continua e di invecchiamento attivo

  • Barbara Baschiera


This paper moves away from the dichotomy that continues to characterize the scientific and political debate on ageing. The elderly are considered, on the one hand, as a resource for society in general, and an increasing cost in terms of social welfare on the other. Instead this paper delves into the heterogeneity of the elderly population, of which a subsection is well-disposed and sufficiently skilled to remain longer in the labour market, with the rest clearly coveting retirement while being well-disposed to remain active in community work, thus making constructive use of the time that has been freed up from paid work. How can we put ageing in its rightful place when even European policies on lifelong learning still support stereotypes focused on the lower productivity of elderly people who have retracted their participation in the labour market?  How can we rethink, from a planning perspective, the policies related to educational activities and learning models able to satisfy the exigencies of a large and growing cohort of our population, in contexts governed by economic prejudices? Further to a theoretical contemplation on the theme, this paper tries to draw inferences from fieldwork intended to analyze some learning environments within the voluntary sector, taking place in the context of Lifelong Learning and an active ageing that does not necessarily revolve around the ‘paid’  labour market.