Dr.in Anna Wanka


Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
GRK Doing Transitions

IKB-Gebäude, 4. OG, Raum 4500
Eschersheimer Landstraße 121
60322 Frankfurt am Main

Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 1
IKB-Gebäude, Postfach 3
60323 Frankfurt am Main

+49 (0)69 798-36411

CV and publications Anna Wanka

Dr.in Anna Wanka studied sociology and law at the University of Vienna, where she finished her PhD in sociology in 2016. From 2009 to 2016 she worked as a junior researcher in the research group “Family, Generations, Life Course, and Health” at the Department of Sociology in Vienna. Between 2017 and 2022 she was a postdoctoral researcher at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Between 2021 and 2022 she was a deputy professor of Political Sociology of Social Inequalities at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich. Since 09/2022, she is leader of a DFG-funded Emmy-Noether research group on “Linking Ages – The Socio-Material Practices of Un/Doing Age across the Life-Course”.

Anna Wanka’s areas of expertise comprise the social practices of ‘doing age’, life course transitions / retirement and the re/production of social inequalities across the life course, ageing and technologies, age-friendly cities and communities, ageing migrants, and lifelong learning. Theoretically she is specialized in practice theories, in which she was trained in the postgraduate programme “Sociology of Social Practices”, as well as through several international research fellowships. She is competent in both qualitative and quantitative methods and has high expertise in mixed-methods research. Anna Wanka is used to working in interdisciplinary and international projects, and has been involved in numerous successful national and project proposals. She has published more than 20 peer-reviewed international journal articles, 19 books chapters and three monographs.

In the DFG-funded interdisciplinary research training group “Doing Transitions”, she explored the multi-sited, multi-agential process of retiring as a constellation of social practices in her project “Doing Retiring – The Social Practices of Transiting into Retirement and the Distribution of Transitional Risks”. 

Research project

Doing Retiring – The Social Practices of Transiting into Retirement and the Distribution of Transitional Risks

With the ageing of the “Baby Boomer” cohort, more and more adults are transiting from working life into retirement. This transition is shaped by different institutions and societal discourses and entails risks and chances that are coped with in diverse ways by different groups of persons. The research project focuses on the social practices of retiring, asking: How is retiring being done? Methodologically the project follows 30 older adults in Germany throughout their process of retiring from before to three years after retirement. It follows a longitudinal mixed-methods design with a qualitative focus, combining episodic interviews, daily diaries and non-participant observations with quantitative secondary data analysis of German Time Use Data (GTUS). 

Key publications

  • Gallistl, V. & Wanka, A. (2023): Spacetimematter of aging – The material temporalities of later life. Journal of Aging Studies 67. Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2023.101182
  • Wanka, A. (2023). My Home is My Castle/My Home is My Prison, Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, 32(1), 60-81. Link: https://doi.org/10.3167/ajec.2023.320105
  • Wazinski, K., Wanka, A., Kylén, M., Slaug, B., & Schmidt, S. M. (2023). Mapping Transitions in the Life Course—An Exploration of Process Ontological Potentials and Limits of Situational Analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 24(2). Link: https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-24.2.4088
  • Höppner, G., & Wanka, A. (2021): un/doing age: Multiperspektivität als Potential einer intersektionalen Betrachtung von Differenz- und Ungleichheitsverhältnissen. Zeitschrift für Soziologie 50 (1), 42-57. Link: https://doi.org/10.1515/zfsoz-2021-0005
  • Bischoff, L., Franke A., & Wanka, A. (2021). Resonant Retiring? Experiences of Resonance in the Transition to Retirement. Frontiers in Sociology 6. Link: https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fsoc.2021.723359     
  • Walther, A.; Stauber, B.; Rieger-Ladich, M.; Wanka, A. (Hrsg.) (2020): Reflexive Übergangsforschung – Theoretische und methodologische Grundlagen. Opladen, Berlin & Toronto: Verlag Barbara Budrich.
  • Wanka, A. (2019c): No time to waste – How the social practices of temporal organisation change in the transition from work to retirement. Time & Society, 0(0), 1-24. Online First: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0961463X19890985
  • Wanka, A. (2019b): Continuity and Change in the Transition to Retirement: How Time Allocation, Leisure Practices and Lifestyles Evolve when Work Vanishes in Later Life. European Journal of Ageing. Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-019-00526-w 
  • Wanka, A. (2019a): Change Ahead—Emerging Life-Course Transitions as Practical Accomplishments of Growing Old(er). Frontiers in Sociology. Link: https://doi.org/10.3389/fsoc.2018.00045 
  • Gallistl, V.; Parisot, V. & Wanka, A. (2018): Learning to be Old – ‚Doing‘ Age in the Education of Older Adults. International Journal of Education and Ageing, 4(3), 157-175.
  • Wanka, A.; Wiesböck, L.; Allex, B.; Mayrhuber, E.; Arnberger, A.; Eder, R.; Kutalek, R.; Wallner, P.; Hutter, H.-P.; Kolland, F. (2018). Everyday discrimination in the neighbourhood: What a ‘doing’ perspective on age and ethnicity can offer. Ageing and Society, 1-26. Link: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X18000466
  • Wanka A. & Gallistl, V. (2018b):  Doing Age in a Digitized World—A Material Praxeology of Aging with Technology. Frontiers in Sociology 3: 6.  Link: https://doi.org/10.3389/fsoc.2018.00006


  • International Sociological Association (ISA), RC11 
  • European Sociological Association (ESA), RN01
  • British Society for Gerontology (BSG)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS), Sektion Alter(n) und Gesellschaft & Sektion Wissenssoziologie
  • Research network “Socio-Gerontechnology” (since 2017)
  • DFG-funded research network “Material Gerontology” (2020 – 2022)
  • COST-Action Reducing Old-Age Social Exclusion: Collaborations in Research and Policy (ROSENet) (2016 – 2020)


Curriculum Vitae


Vorträge und Tagungen (Auswahl)