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Toni M. Calasanti

Toni Calasanti, Professor

Toni Calasanti, Professor
Toni Calasanti, Professor

Department of Sociology
648 McBryde Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-8961 |

Toni Calasanti is a Professor of Sociology. Her research on the intersections of age, gender and social inequalities has appeared in several journals as well as in the books Gender, Social Inequalities, and Aging (2001), Age Matters: Re-Aligning Feminist Thinking (2006), and Nobody’s Burden: Lessons from the Great Depression on the Struggle for Old-Age Security (2011). Recent explorations of the intersectional approach and of age, gender and sexuality lay the foundation for her present NIH-funded research on same-sex partner caregiving. LGBT issues in later life, especially in relation to care work and to bodies and health. In addition, her current projects include explorations of:

  • Ageism (and images of aging) in popular culture and research, including programs that are "anti-aging," and aging bodies
  • Theorizing age relations, and exploring the interaction of these with masculinity and femininity (and ageism with other forms of oppression)
  • Intersecting inequalities and retirement migration
  • Changing definitions of work (paid and unpaid) and retirement
  • Gender, especially in old age 
  • Ageism and age relations
  • Paid and unpaid labor
  • Sexual inequality, gender, and aging
  • Aging bodies
  • Retirement migration
  • B.A., Loyola-Marymount University
  • M.A., Ph.D. University of Kentucky
  • Past President, Southern Sociological Society
  • Chair, Section on Aging and the Life Course, American Sociological Society
  • Board Member, International Institute on Ageing, United Nations – Malta.
  • Florence L. Denmark Award for Distinguished Contributions to Women and Aging, American Psychological Association, Society for the Psychology of Women.
  • Alumni Award for Research Excellence, Virginia Tech
  • Alumni Award for International Research Excellence, Virginia Tech
  • Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award, Behavioral and Social Science section, The Gerontological Society of America.
  • Petersen Visiting Scholar in Gerontology and Family Studies, Oregon State University.
  • Excellence in Outreach and International Activities Award, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech
  • College Award for Certificate of Teaching Excellence, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech.
  • E. Gordon Ericksen Award, Outstanding Graduate Faculty, Department of Sociology, Virginia Tech


Ray, Ruth E. and Toni Calasanti, eds. 2011. Nobody’s Burden: Lessons on Old Age from the Great Depression. NY: Lexington Books.

Calasanti, Toni M. and Kathleen F. Slevin, eds. 2006. Age Matters: Re-Aligning Feminist Thinking. New York: Routledge.

Calasanti, Toni M. and Kathleen F. Slevin. 2001. Gender, Social Inequalities, and Aging. CA: Alta Mira Press.

Journal Articles

Calasanti, Toni and Neal King. In press. “Beyond Successful Aging 2.0: Inequalities, Ageism, and the Case for Normalizing Old Ages.” Journal of Gerontology: Psychological and Social Sciences. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbaa037

Calasanti, Toni. 2020. “Brown Slime, the Silver Tsunami, and Apocalyptic Demography: The Importance of Ageism and Age Relations.” Social Currents 7(3): 195-211. doi: 0.1177/2329496520912736

Repetti, Marion and Toni Calasanti. 2020. “Transnational Grandparenting in Retirement Migration Contexts: A Spanish Case Study.” Global Networks. 20(2): 308–324. doi: 10.1111/glob.12239

Ilkka Pietilä, Toni Calasanti, Hanna Ojala, and Neal King. 2020. “Is Retirement a Crisis for Men? Class and Adjustment to Retirement.” Men and Masculinities, 23(2): 306-325. doi: 10.1177/1097184X17724189.

Repetti, Marion and Toni Calasanti. In press. “Transnational Grandparenting in Retirement Migration Contexts: A Spanish Case Study.” Global Networks.

Ilkka Pietilä, Toni Calasanti, Hanna Ojala, and Neal King. In press. “Is Retirement a Crisis for Men? Class and Adjustment to Retirement.” Men & Masculinities.

Repetti, Marion and Toni Calasanti. 2018. “‘Since I retired, I can take things as they come. For example, the laundry.’ Gender, class and freedom in retirement in Switzerland.” Ageing & Society, 38(Aug.): 1556-1580.

Repetti, Marion, Chris Phillipson, and Toni Calasanti. 2018. “Retirement Migration in Europe: A Choice for a Better Life?” Sociological Research Online. June 20: 1-15.

Calasanti, Toni and Neal King. 2018. “The Dynamic Nature of Gender and Aging Bodies.” Journal of Aging Studies, 45:11-17.

Calasanti, Toni, Neal King, Ilkka Pietilä, and Hanna Ojala. 2018. ”Rationales for Anti-aging Activities in Middle Age: Aging, Health, or Appearance?” The Gerontologist 58(2): 233-241.

Calasanti, Toni and Marion Repetti. 2018. “Swiss Retirees as Active Agers: A Critical Look at this New Social Role.” Journal of Population Ageing, 11(1), 23-41

Calasanti, Toni and Sadie Giles. 2017/18. “The Challenge of Intersecting Inequalities.” Generations, 41(4): 69-76.

Calasanti, Toni. 2016. “Combating Ageism: How Successful is Successful Aging?” The Gerontologist, 56(6): 1093-1101. 

Book Chapters

Repetti, Marion, Toni Calasanti, and Christopher Phillipson (eds.). 2021. Ageing and Migration in a Global Context: Challenges for Welfare States. Springer. 

Calasanti, Toni and Neal King. 2020. “An Intersectional Approach to Gender, Age, and Health in Later Life.” Pp. 143-54 in Ageing, the Body and the Gender Regime: Health, illness and disease across the life course, edited by Susan Pickard and Jude Robinson. Routledge. 

Calasanti, Toni. 2019. “On the Intersections of Age, Gender, and Sexualities in Research on Aging.” Pp. 13-30 in Intersections of Ageing, Gender and Sexualities: Multidisciplinary International Perspectives. UK: Policy Press. Edited by A.King, R. Jones and K. Almack.

Calasanti, Toni and Neal King. 2017.Successful aging, ageism, and the maintenance of age and gender relations.” Pp. 27-40 in Successful Aging as a Contemporary Obsession: Global Perspectives, edited by Sarah Lamb. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Calasanti, Toni and Neal King. 2015. “Intersectionality and Cultural Gerontology.” Pp. 193-200, in Handbook of Cultural Gerontology, edited by J. Twigg and W. Martin. London: Routledge.

  • Toni Calasanti (PI). “COVID-19, Social Distancing and Spouse/Partner Caregiving for those with Alzheimer's Disease.” NIA (3 R21 AG061365-02S1). 1 year. $216,140. 
  • Toni Calasanti (PI). “Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Partner/Spousal Caregiving in Later Life.” NIH. 2 years. $425,451. 2/1/19-2/1/21.
  • Toni Calasanti. “Social Inequalities and Experiences of Old Age.” Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Aging & Society at McMaster University
  • Toni M. Calasanti (PI).  “Gender Differences in Informal Care Work for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease.”  Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases Research Award Fund. Virginia Center on Aging.  $24,975.
  • Amanda Grenier (PI), Bernard, M., Charpentier, M., Scharf, T., Phillipson, C., Brotman, S., Sussman, T., Katz, S., McMullin, J., Torres, S., Biggs, S., Calasanti, T., Dumas, A., Viroit-Durandal, J.P. (861-2008-1029) (2009-2010). “Contemporary Issues in Critical Gerontology: An International Initiative.” Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). International Opportunities Fund, $25,000
  • Calasanti, Toni. 2019. “Theorizing and researching masculinity and old age.” MASCAGE EU, Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to Studying Cultural Representations of Aging Masculinities in Europe, Madrid, Nov. 30. 
  • Calasanti, Toni. 2019. “Brown Slime and the Silver Tsunami.” University of Uppsala, Sweden, May.
  • Calasanti, Toni. 2018. “Dependence in an era of migration: the importance of inequalities.” LIVES workshop, State, Family and Aging in the “Age of Migration.” University of Lausanne, Switzerland. May.
  • Calasanti, Toni. 2017. “Gender and retirement research: Conceptual and data challenges.” University of Lausanne, Switzerland, May.
  • Calasanti, Toni. 2017. “Age, Gender, Sexuality and Spousal/Partner Caregiving.” Presented at the conference on Family Relations in Later Life, University of Tampere, Finland, May.
  • Calasanti, Toni. 2012. “Different or Unequal? Considering Power Relations.” Opening keynote presented at the meetings of the British Gerontological Society, Keele University, July.


  • Guest Professor, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Tampere, Finland.
  • Visiting Fellow, Centre of Gender Excellence (GEXcel), Linköping University and Örebro University, Sweden.
  • “Ageism and Age Relations.” Lecture delivered at the International graduate summer school, “Beyond the Body: Recasting Aging.” Concordia University's Centre for Research on Aging,.
  • “Intersections of Age and Gender Relations: The Example of spousal care work.” Delivered at the doctoral school on age, gender, and social policy, Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • “Intersectionality as an Approach to Aging Research.” Delivered at the Summer Institute, Aging, Well-Being, and Technology Doctoral School. University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

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