Photo of Norah Keating

Professor Norah Keating

Chair, Public Health

Telephone number

+44 (0) 1792 606397

Email address

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Research Links

Classroom 019 - 019
Ground Floor
Haldane Building
Singleton Campus


Professor Norah Keating is a social gerontologist whose theoretical and empirical research has created evidence, challenged discourses and influenced policy in global, social and physical contexts of ageing. She has placed this work on the international stage through the Global Social Issues on Ageing which fosters collaboration and critical thinking about ageing at the interfaces of regional issues and global trends. Professor Keating holds academic appointments in 3 world regions.

Social contexts of ageing. Professor Keating has created evidence of the extent and consequences of family care; and has contributed to conceptual innovation in lifecourses of family care. This body of work has made family care and its consequences visible and has challenged discourses of family care as normative, ideal and cost free. Her extensive interactions and consultations with governments have brought to policy makers attention the fragility of the family care sector and have contributed to legislation and programs to support family carers.

Community contexts of ageing. Professor Keating’s longstanding programme of theoretical, empirical and policy work on ‘place’ has challenged beliefs about rural communities as good places to grow old and has informed the global agenda on age-friendly communities. Her seminal theoretical work on Critical Human Ecology Theory provides a template for reducing inequalities and improving quality of life of older people through determining the ‘best fit’ between older persons and the places where they live.

Global contexts of ageing. Professor Keating’s research and critical analyses of key global contexts and trends have brought her international prominence and opportunities to build collaborative structures and processes.  She challenges gerontologists to focus on macro trends such as climate change, economic recession and political instability to increase visibility of their disproportionate influence on older persons.


Areas Of Expertise

  • Social contexts of ageing
  • Critical human ecology
  • Family carers
  • Rural ageing
  • Lifecourse approaches to ageing
  • Ageing in a global context
  • International collaboration

Career Highlights


Professor Keating’s international work has provided the opportunity to launch a major initiative: Global Social Issues on Ageing. Its mission is:

 to foster collaboration and critical thinking about ageing at the interfaces of regional issues and global trends…toward creating policy and practice that improves quality of life of older people.

The GSIA is based on the belief that global scholarship requires the inclusion of voices of social scholars across world regions and career stages. Since its inception in 2011 the GSIA has built capacity and fostered connections through its master class programme and through consultations among senior scholars on key regional questions and on the methodological skills needed to address them.

Professor Keating’s theoretical and empirical work includes:

  • the evolution of care networks and the paradox of later life where support is most needed but may be least present
  • theorising pathways to late life social exclusion, illustrating how late life inequalities have their roots in earlier life course experiences
  • understanding wellbeing of family carers and care workers toward addressing the ‘crisis in care’
  • setting lifecourses within global, social and community contexts that can influence the quality of later life