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Professor to Collaborate on Cross-Cultural Gerontology Research with the University of Angers in Western France

May 1, 2012. Ed Rosenberg’s academic interests on issues related to aging and gerontology are taking him to France, where he will be a visiting researcher at the University of Angers. It’s a return trip for the Appalachian State University professor who was an exchange professor in 2004-05 at the university located in France’s Loire Valley. 

The University of Angers awarded Rosenberg the research position, which provides travel and living expenses for the five-week appointment.

Rosenberg will collaborate with Professor Christian Pihet, director of graduate research at Angers, on cross-cultural research regarding geographic issues of aging, such as why and where people migrate as they age, to determine any similarities between patterns in France and the United States.

“This used to be called retirement migration, but now it’s called elder migration,” Rosenberg said of the research that’s part of the field of social gerontology. “As individuals age, their first move typically is an amenity migration, where retirement locations are selected based on climate, cultural, recreational or other attractions.” Others may select states with favorable tax rates for relocation, he added. 

France has a more centralized system in regards to taxes versus the flexibility U.S. states have to set income as well as sales taxes. In comparison, the desire or need to reside near family as well as reforms being implemented to the French retirement system might play a greater role in decisions regarding elder migration in France.

Rosenberg, who directs Appalachian’s graduate program in gerontology, said opportunities to collaborate with others on international research enhance classroom instruction and support Appalachian’s focus on globalization. The university has embarked on a five-year plan to broaden students’ global awareness and competencies through programs and activities offered on-campus as well as abroad.