Affiliated and Emeriti Faculty

John Williamson

Professor Emeritus




John B. Williamson is currently a professor emeritus in the Department of Sociology at Boston College. He is also an affiliated researcher at the Center for Retirement Research. His bachelor degree is from MIT and his Ph.D. is from Harvard University 

Between 2011 and 2016 he served as an associate editor of The Gerontologist and has served on the editorial board for a total of nine journals. 

He is the author, co-author, or editor of 18 books and approximately 170 articles published in professional journals or edited anthologies. He has presented professional papers in 18 countries and has published books and articles in 7 foreign languages.

In recent years his research has focused on trends in ageism, social security and pension policy in the United States and many other countries around the world, particularly China. He has given particular attention to the actual and the proposed partial privatization of social security schemes. His past research deals with such topics as the politics of aging, the senior rights movement, the debate over generational equity and generational accounting. He has also authored or co-authored many articles based cross-national aggregate data dealing with such topics as: life expectancy, infant mortality, environmental degradation, suicide rates, homicide rates, women’s status, and corruption. His most recent work involves an analysis of the acceptance of the practice of physician aid in dying in nine states in the United states as well as six other countries around the world.