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Personal Information

Bianca Suanet is an Associate Professor in Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She has a bachelor’s and research master’s in Sociology (with honours/cum laude, obtained in 2007 and 2009 respectively) and received a PhD in Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2013. She is currently the research manager of the Department of Sociology’s research program “Participation in Society” (PARIS) and the head of the social functioning group of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). She also served as a board member of the Dutch Gerontological Society NVG-KNOWS and the Journal for the Social Sciences Mens en Maatschappij published by the Amsterdam University Press (AUP).



Bianca Suanet's research focuses on the impact of large scale societal and policy change such as individualization, digitalization, and welfare state change, on social relationships, loneliness, as well as health, and well-being. In her work she aims to integrate sociological theories on societal change, individual or dyadic level theories on social relationships, and psychological and health science perspectives on ageing. Her work has been published in a wide range of journals in the field of gerontology, sociology, psychology and health sciences, including: Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Marriage and Family, Psychology & Aging, Ageing & Society, European Journal of Ageing, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and Journal of Aging & Health. Her PhD dissertation entitled “Societal dynamics and older adults social functioning” received the Prof. Dr. Schreuder Prize for the best dissertation in gerontology from the Dutch Gerontological Society in 2015. From 2015 to 2019 Bianca worked on a research project funded through a VENI grant of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO): “Informal networks and care in a participation society: changes, mechanisms and consequences”. In this project she studied which people are particularly vulnerable in contemporary society in terms of their social networks, social support and informal and formal care use by employing cohort comparative designs. For much of her work, Bianca uses data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA), a longitudinal and cohort-sequential study with almost 30 years of information on the physical, cognitive, social and emotional functioning of Dutch older adults. LASA involves a long-standing cooperation of researchers from various disciplines such as epidemiology, psychology, psychiatry, health sciences and sociology ( and is based in both the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Amsterdam University Medical Center, location VU Medical Center. She is the head of the LASA social functioning group since 2017. At the current moment, she is also involved in a project looking at socio-economic status inequalities in care use (IN-CARE), financed by NWO within the ORA scheme, and a multidisciplinary project on understanding the impact of societal and social network influences on donor behaviour (



In the academic year 2020-2021 Bianca teaches the courses “Sociological Research 1 and 2” (together with Lisa Sipma and Joukje Swinkels), and teaches several lectures within the Social Sciences for Society course “Networks 1” (together with dr. Christine Moser and several other colleagues). She is also a mentor of the third-year bachelor Sociology students (together with dr. Mariska van der Horst).


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Academic qualification

Sociology, PhD, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Award Date: 11 Oct 2013

Master in Social Research, track Sociology (cum laude), Master, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

1 Sep 200731 Aug 2009

Award Date: 31 Aug 2009

Bachelor Sociaal-Culturele Wetenschappen (cum laude), Bachelor, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

1 Sep 200431 Aug 2007

Award Date: 31 Aug 2007


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