Sara Arber

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Sara Arber
Sara arber.jpg
Born (1949-03-19) March 19, 1949 (age 65)
Chingford, UK
Residence Godalming UK
Fields Sociology
Institutions University of Surrey
Alma mater London School of Economics
Known for Sociology of Ageing and Gender
Sociology of Sleep
Notable awards Fellow of British Academy

Sara Arber is a British sociologist and Professor at University of Surrey.[1] Professor Arber has previously held the position of President of the British Sociological Association (1999–2001) and Vice President of the European Sociological Association (2005–2007). She is well known for her work on gender and ageing, inequalities in health and has pioneered research in the new field of sociology of sleep.[2]


Born in 1949 in Chingford and raised in Thames Ditton, Sara graduated from the London School of Economics with a First in Sociology 1972.[3] She went onto postgraduate study at University of London and University of Michigan before joining the Sociology Department of the University of Surrey as a Lecturer in 1974. Being made professor in 1994 she acted as Head of Department 1996-2002 and Head of School of Human Sciences 2001-2004.

She has served on various committees of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) since 1984 where she is currently member of the Grants Assessment Panel. As well as Presidency of the British Sociological Association she has also acted as President of the International Sociological Association Research Committee on Sociology of Ageing (2006–2010).


Ageing and gender[edit]

One of Sara Arber's main areas of research has been in the field of the Sociology of Ageing and how gender identities develop in later life.[4] Much of the seminal work in this discipline was developed together with Jay Ginn, such as Connecting Gender and Ageing in 1995 which won the Age Concern prize for best book on Ageing in 1996 and Gender and Ageing: Changing Roles and Relationships. In 2000 she established and is Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender (CRAG) at University of Surrey.

Sara was awarded the British Society of Gerontology Outstanding Achievement Award 2011 for her research on ageing.[5] She is co-editor of a new book on Contemporary Grandparenting: Changing Family Relationships in Global Contexts.[6]


Sara has been pioneering empirical research on the sociology of sleep since 2001. Current research is being done through SomnIA (Sleep in Ageing), a four year collaborative research project including researchers from sociology, psychology, neuroendocrinology, engineering, nursing and medicine.[7] The SomnIA research covers various aspects of quality of sleep including amongst older people in care homes. Professor Arber has analysed survey data on the sleeping habits of 14,000 households finding that one in 10 people are using medication to assist in getting to sleep, and women have more problems getting to sleep than men.[8] She also is researching "The biomedical and sociological effects of sleep restriction" for EU Marie Curie research project focused on the effects of lack of sleep on health and wellbeing.

Selected works[edit]

  • Arber, Sara; Ginn, Jay (1991). Gender and Later Life. ISBN 0-8039-8397-2. 
  • Arber, Sara; Ginn, Jay (1995). Connecting Gender and Ageing. ISBN 0-335-19470-2. 
  • Arber, Sara; Attias-Donfut, Claudine (2000). The Myth of Generational Conflict: Family and State in Ageing Societies. ISBN 0-415-20770-3. 
  • Arber, Sara; Davidson, Kate (2003). Gender and Ageing: Changing Roles and Relationships. ISBN 0-335-21320-0. 
  • Arber, Sara; Timonen, Virpi (2012). Contemporary Grandparenting: Changing Family Relationships in Global Contexts. ISBN 978-1-84742-967-4. 


  1. ^ "Sara Arber at University of Surrey". Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Sociology of Sleep". Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Sara Arber - Biographical Journey in Sociology". Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "British Society of Gerontology Who's Who - Sara Arber". Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "British Society of Gerontology Outstanding Achievement Award 2011". Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Contemporary Grandparenting: Changing Family Relationships in Global Contexts". Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "SomnIA". Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  8. ^ "BBC News report". Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
Academic offices
Preceded by
David Morgan
President of the British Sociological Association
Succeeded by