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Dr. Justyna Stypińska


Research Assistant

Garystraße 55
Room 201B
14195 Berlin

Received her Master degree and PhD in sociology from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Her doctoral dissertation dealt with the problem of age discrimination in the labour market in Poland. It is upcoming as a monograph in early 2016. Completed also postgraduate studies in European Law at the Jagiellonian University, as well as Pedagogical Study for teachers. Studied abroad at the University of Maastricht, Holland, and at the University of Washington, USA.

Researcher and expert in various international research project. Among them: COST Action Ageism (funded within the framework of Horizon 2020), “Carers@Work: Between Job and Care: Conflict or Opportunity?” (funded by the Volkswagen Foundation), project “ Equal treatment, the standard of good governance” (funded by Polish Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment ), “IACS – Improving Access to Community‐Based Services for Older People Living at Home” (funded by European Commission), “ASPA: Activating Senior Potential in Ageing Europe” (funded by European Commission), ”CASE – Cities Against Social Exclusion” (funded by European Commission), “Age Discrimination in the labour market in Poland” (funded by Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education).

Taught various courses in Department of Sociology at the Jagiellonian University (i.e. “Democracy and Minority Rights”, “Contemporary Sociological Theories”, “Gender and Law”), as well in Medical College of Jagiellonian University (“Sociology of medicine”). At the Freie Universität Berlin she teaches courses in topics of gender equality, ageing societies, human rights in Eastern Europe, as well as European Societies after enlargement of EU.


  • Aging societies: Global and Local Challenges
  • Gender and Law
  • Human Rights in Eastern Europe: a sociological perspective
  • The sociological perspective on the integration of CEE countries into the EU

Research Interests

  • sociology of law (anti-discrimination law, feminist legal studies, human rights)
  • sociology of inequality and discrimination in the labour market
  • aging processes in Europe
  • contemporary sociological theories

Doctoral Dissertation - abstract

„Age discrimination in the labour market - socio-legal analysis”

The age, next to gender, is one of the most significant social and individual characteristics of a person, and serves for a basic identity determinant in the contemporary world. Similarly to gender, the age can serve as ground for discrimination in fields such as employment, social services, education, training, access to social and cultural life. As far as sexism and racism have already for long time been socially disapproved and legally prohibited, ageism continues to go unacknowledged in contemporary societies. Researchers on ageism agree on the fact that ageist attitudes permeate modern western societies. Much research has been carried out to prove this in the US, Germany or UK. However, the problem of ageism is still of secondary importance in relatively young democracies, such as Poland, especially in the face of the still developing economy praising the novelty and youth as its primary resources. The year 2000 brought legal solution to the problem of age discrimination in the labor market with the European Commission Directive 2000/78/EC, which prohibits discrimination in the field of employment on basis, i.e. of age. This Directive came into force in Poland in 2004 with the accession to the EU and set up an entirely new scenario for the development of legal and social analysis of the problem of ageism and age discrimination. The major research focus in the dissertation is directed at the question of the scope of age discrimination experienced by older adults in the labour market in Poland, as well as to the problem of different types of age discrimination and ageism present in work milieus. The two concepts – age discrimination and ageism are not to be employed synonymously. Age discrimination is understood as any type of unjustified behavior that is of detrimental effect to the individual. Ageism, on the other hand, is understood more broadly, as an ideology (beliefs) that is based on negative stereotypes and prejudice (Mcmullin & Marshall, 2001). This distinction – between behavioral and attitudinal dimension of age discrimination and ageism, is also crucial from the legal perspective, where it is the discrimination on grounds of age that is prohibited, and not the ageist attitudes alone. Moreover, age discrimination can occur without prejudice, and prejudice can exist with no form of behavioral discrimination.
The scope of the problem of age discrimination is of major importance to the research since there seems to be quite a divergence of opinions as to the actual size of the issue. Different statistical analysis, such as Eurobarometer of European Social Survey, present data where age discrimination reports vary from 6% (Eurobarometer, 2009) of the population to as much as 35 % (ESS data). Other data, on national level, suggest that age discrimination might be even more widespread. The methodological approach to measuring age discrimination is to be held responsible for the vast discrepancies, and therefore there is a need for development of a reliable and accurate tool to measure the extent of age discrimination in the labour market. The tool used in this research was based on the original instrument of Palmore Ageism Survey (Palmore, 2001), but was adapted to the needs and research aims of this study. Next to the abovementioned problem, it was essential to establish the factors, which determine the possibility of becoming a victim of age discrimination in employment. Two sets of factors were taken into consideration: the sociodemographic, such as age, gender, education level; and professional factors, among which are, i.e. the sector of employment, belonging to a certain professional group, size of the enterprise. The last analytical pillar of the research scheme was to determine the level of knowledge about the anti-discrimination law, as well as the influence of this law on the behaviours and professional decisions of the employers and employees. For, the efficiency of any legal provisions is highly reliant on the knowledge about the law, as well as opinions and attitudes towards it.


The research project (financed by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education) used the triangulation approach, namely the triangulation of research methods, data sources and researchers. The study included qualitative method (indepth interviews with 30 employers and 6 experts), and was carried out in 2010 and 2011 by a team of 3 researchers. The data gathered was transcribed verbatim and analyzed in MAXQDA software program. The quantitative method used was the survey on sample of 1000 inhabitants of Małopolska (purposeful sampling) region in the age of 45-65 and economically active. It was carried out in the period of June – July 2010 by a specialized research agency. The data was analyzed with the use of SPSS software. Additionally, secondary data analysis was completed on the data from European Social Survey of 2008, the 4th Round of the survey, which included the supplementary set of 50 questions regarding aging of the population and ageism.


Peer reviewed journals

2019  A systematic review of existing ageism scales. Ageing Research Reviews 54:100919. (with L. Ayalon, P. Dolberg, S. Mikulioniene, V. de la Fuente-Núñez, G. Rapolienė, M. Wilinska, J. Perek-Bialas).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2019.100919

2019  Senior Entrepreneurship: The Unrevealed Driver for Social Innovation. Froniers Sociology. (with A. Franke, J. Myrczik). https://doi.org/10.3389/fsoc.2019.00030

2018  Paths to Sustainability – perspective from Eastern Europe, Emecon: Employment and Economy in Central and Eastern Europe, 2018 (1), Special Issue. (with M. Varga). https://www.emecon.eu/index.php/emecon/article/view/51

2018  The Enterprising Self: a Panacea for all or New Fictitious Social Role for Older Adults? The Analysis of European Polices for Senior Entrepreneurship. Journal of Population Ageinghttps://doi.org/10.1007/s12062-017-9214-2

2017  Hard and soft age discrimination – dual nature of workplace discrimination. European Journal of Ageing. (with K. Turek). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-016-0407-y

2017  Gender, age and migration - an intersectional approach to inequalities in the labour market, European Journal of Ageing. (with L. Romeu Gordo). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-017-0419-2 

2015  Older worker in the labour market in Poland: 40+? 50+? Or only “a plus”? (Starszy pracownik na rynku pracy w Polsce: 40+? 50+? Czy tylko “plus”?). Studia Socjologiczne, Vol 2 /17, pp. 143-176.

2014  Working carers in Poland – successful strategies of reconciliation of work and care of an older adult. Anthropological Notebooks, 2014, Vol. 20/1, (with J. Perek-Białas).

2014  Age discrimination in the labour market in Poland – a socio-legal perspective. Emecon: Employment and Economy in Central and Eastern Europe, 2014 (1).

2010  Czy Polska jest krajem dla starych ludzi? Czyli o społecznym konstruowaniu starości. (Is Poland a country for old men? Or: on Social Construction of Old Age). Rocznik AGH Studia Humanistyczne (2010) (vol. 8/1), pp. 139-153.

2010  Dyskryminacja osób starszych w Polsce (Discrimination of older people in Poland). Niebieska Linia 2 (67) 2010, pp. 3-6.

2007  Jewish Majority and Arab Minority in Israel – Demographic Struggle, Polish Sociological Review, 1 (157) 2007, pp. 105-120.


Book chapters and editions

2020  Gründungsaktivitäten in der zweiten Lebenshälfte als hybride Performanz Älterer am Arbeitsmarkt? Ein Vergleich zwischen Deutschland und Polen. In: F. Frerichs, U. Fachinger (eds.). Selbstständige Erwerbstätigkeit und Erwerbskarrieren in späteren Lebensphasen. Springer, Vechtaer Beiträge zur Gerontologie. (with A. Franke, J. Myrczik), pp. 45-68. 

2019  Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common. In: D. Gu, M. Dupre (eds.). Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging. Springer, Cham. (with A. Franke). 

2018  Ageism in labour market – macrostructural perspective. In: L. Ayalon, C. Tesch-Roemer (eds.). Ageism – current perspective. Springer Publication House, pp. 91-108. (with P. Nikander). https://www.springer.com/de/book/9783319738192

2015  Socio-economic status in ageing Poland: A question of cumulative advantages and disadvantages. In: S. Johansson, K. Komp, (eds.). Population ageing from a life course perspective. Critical and international approaches. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 85-107 (with J. Perek-Białas and K. Turek).

2011  Mężczyźni, męskość, ciała - zarys problematyki. ( Men, Masculinitie, bodies – problematics outline). In: K. Wojnicka, E. Ciaputa (eds.). Karuzela z mężczyznami. Problematyka męskości w polskich badaniach społecznych (Carouselle with men. Problematics of masculinity in Polish social research). Kraków: Impuls, pp. 25-41. (with K. Wojnicka & S. Rudnicki).

2011  Ageizm i dyskryminacja ze względu na wiek jako doświadczenie dojrzałych Polaków na rynku pracy (Ageism and age discrimination of older Poles in the labour market). In: J. Mucha, Ł. Krzyżowski (eds.). Ku socjologii starości. Starzenie się w biegu życia jednostki (Towards sociology of ageing. Old age in a life-course perspective), Kraków: Wydawnictwo AGH, pp. 134-157.

2010  Warunki Pan spełnia, ale PESEL nie ten, czyli o zjawisku ageizmu we współczesnej Polsce (You meet the requirements, but your birthdate is not right. On the phenomenon of ageism in contemporary Poland). In: P. Szukalski, D. Kałuża (eds.). Jakość życia seniorów w XXI wieku z perspektywy polityki społecznej (The quality of life of seniors in 21st century from the social policy perspective). Łodź: Wydawnictwo Biblioteka, pp. 162-173.

2010  Łączenie pracy i opieki nad osobą starszą – wpływ na jakość życia opiekuna (Reconciliation of work and elderly care – the influence on the quality of life of the carer). In: P. Szukalski, D. Kałuża (eds.). Jakość życia seniorów w XXI wieku. Ku aktywności (The quality of life of seniors in 21st century. Towards activity). Łodź: Wydawnictwo Biblioteka, pp. 136-150. (with J. Perek-Białas), 

2009  Senior czy dziadek, czyli o społecznym konstruowaniu starości (Senior or Grandpa or about Social Construction of Old Age). In: S. Rudnicki, J. Stypińska, K. Wojnicka. (eds.). Socjologia i codzienność. W stronę nowej socjologii? (Sociology of everyday life. In Direction of New Sociology?). Warszawa: WAiP.

2009  Editorial of a book “Społeczeństwo i codzienność. W stronę nowej socjologii ?”, op. cit. (in co-operation with K. Wojnicka & S. Rudnicki).

2008  Sociological perspective on the European anti-discrimination legislation. In: J. Perek-Białas, A. Hoff (eds.). Ageing and Society in Central and Eastern Europe: Some Problems - Some Solutions, Krakow: Jagiellonian University.

2008  Partnership of the local governments and non-governmental organizations for the fight against social exclusion – the case of Krakow. In: A. Bukowski, K. Fuzer (eds.). Urban Rehabilitation in Segregated Districts of Central and Eastern European Cities. Krakow: Rabid.


Other publications

2017  Gender Equality in Eastern Europe (and beyond) – laws and practices. Osteuropa Institut, Freie Universität Berlin Working Papers, 03/2017. 

2011  National Report Between Work and Care: Conflict or Chance? Results of Interviews with Working Carers in Poland, (with J. Perek-Białas). Working Paper, University Dortmund.