Research Topics

Aging and lifecourse; health and society; health and social care services especially home and community care; intersections of formal and informal care, especially involving the nexus of the public and private spheres; transitional life events such as widowhood.

Research Interests

My current research focuses on two areas of inquiry in the sociology of aging. The first examines the provision of health and social care to elderly people, examined from the perspectives, agency providers, home care workers, elderly clients, and family carers. The focus is on three points of intersection: the nexus of public and private spheres, where workers provide publicly funded services in the private home sphere; of professional and non-professional labour, examining relationships between employers, co-workers, clients and caregivers; and of paid and unpaid labour, focusing on the emotional vs contractual nature of ‘care’, provision of unpaid time to meet client need, and the unpaid labour of family and friends in ‘sharing’ of care.  This CIHR-funded project, Home Care in Canada: Caring at the Nexus of the Public and the Private Spheres (, examines data from British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia.

My second area of research interest is on widowhood in later life, focusing on the ways in which widowhood is experienced and understood in conjunction with other lifecourse events, such as immigration. Cultural representations of widowhood in research, literature, artistic and other information formats are also of interest.

Martin-Matthews, A., Tong, C. E. & Sims-Gould, J. (2013). “The realities and challenges of home care policies in Canada: Client, family, worker and manager perspectives”, Canadian Review of Social Policy. Special Issue on ‘Aging in Canada’  68/69: 55-74.

Martin-Matthews, A. (2011). “Revisiting Widowhood in Later Life: Changes in patterns and profiles, advances in research and understanding”. Canadian Journal on Aging 30(3): 339-354.

Sims-Gould, J. & Martin-Matthews, A.  (2010), “‘We share the care’: Family caregivers’ experiences of their older relative receiving home support services”, Health & Social Care in the Community 8(4): 415-423.  (Reprinted  Spring 2013  in special online issue of HSCC on Carers:

Martin-Matthews, A. (2007).  “Situating ‘home’ at the nexus of the public and private spheres: Aging, gender and home support work in Canada”, Current Sociology 55 (2), 229-249. (Reprinted 2012: Pp. 23-41 in M. Cutchin, C. Kemp & V. Marshall (eds.), Researching Social Gerontology, Volume I.  Sage Publications. )

Martin-Matthews, A.  & Phillips, J. E.  (eds.) (2008). Aging at the Intersection of Work and Home Life: Blurring the Boundaries. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Winter 2018
No SOCI course(s) were found for W2018 term.Winter 2018
No SOCI course(s) were found for W2018 term.


B.A. (Memorial)
M.A., Ph.D. (McMaster)

Other Affiliations

Faculty Associate, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
Chair, Health & Society Minor Program
President, Research Committee on Aging, International Sociological Association

Brief Biography

Anne Martin-Matthews has recently completed two terms (2004-2011) as the Scientific Director of the Institute of Aging, one of 13 national Institutes of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Since coming to UBC in 1998, she has held positions as Associate Dean Research, Associate Dean Strategic Initiatives, and Dean pro tem in the Faculty of Arts. She has been a member of the Department of Sociology since 2008.

Under her leadership, the CIHR Institute of Aging led the development of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), a 20 year study of 50,000 Canadians aged 45-85. The CLSA was launched in 2009. The Institute of Aging has also developed strategic initiatives on Cognitive Impairment in Aging, on Mobility in Aging, and on Health Services and Systems for an Aging Population. The Institute is an associate member of the ERA-AGE2, and participated in FUTURAGE, leading to the development of a European Roadmap for Research on Aging. International partnerships were developed with China, Japan, France and with the UK.

Professor Martin-Matthews’ publications include two books, Aging and Caring at the Intersection of Work and Home Life: Blurring the Boundaries; Widowhood in Later Life; three edited volumes (on methodology; policy development; and Canadian gerontology in international context); and over 140 papers on health and social care, aging and social support, work – family balance, and rural aging. She is President of the Research Committee on Aging of the International Sociological Association (2010-2014). A former Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal on Aging (1996-2000), she is a member of the editorial boards of Ageing and Society (UK), the Journal of Aging Studies (US), the Policy Press (UK) series on ‘Ageing and the Life Course’ and the Advisory Board for the Sage Handbook of Interview Research (2nd edition).

Anne Martin-Matthews has served on review and scientific advisory committees for provincial funding agencies and government ministries in Ontario and British Columbia, and for national and federal agencies, including Health Canada and Veterans Affairs Canada. Internationally, she has served on scientific advisory committees for the (UK) Medical Research Council and in research evaluation for Trinity College Dublin and the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, among others. She is a Fellow of the (U.S.) Gerontological Society of America and of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She holds a Distinguished Alumnus Award from McMaster University; a Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, awarded by the Canadian Association on Gerontology; and an Honorary Degree in Civil Law from Newcastle University (UK). As of December 2011, she has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of UBC’s Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.