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Gender, Ageing and Extended Working LifeCross-National Perspectives$
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Áine Ní Léime, Debra Street, Sarah Vickerstaff, Clary Krekula, and Wendy Loretto

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447325116

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447325116.001.0001

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Theoretical and conceptual issues in the extending working lives agenda

Theoretical and conceptual issues in the extending working lives agenda

(p.27) Two Theoretical and conceptual issues in the extending working lives agenda
Gender, Ageing and Extended Working Life

Clary Krekula

Sarah Vickerstaff

Policy Press

The policy debate on older people's extended participation in working life is not based on a social movement, such as the one putting forward demands on job opportunities for women, and has, by means of categorical stereotypes, mostly characterised older people as the problem. This narrative of individual choices and decisions presents older workers as de-gendered, de-classed individuals, shorn of their individual biographies and social contexts. It also treats the issue of extending working life as a phenomenon disconnected from surrounding society and trends. This line of reasoning points to the need for more sophisticated theoretical foundations. This chapter therefore provides a more encompassing framework for the discussion of extending working lives and outlines a new research agenda, including a power perspective with potential to shed light on age-based inequality, an intersectional perspective and a masculinity perspective which challenges the homogenous descriptions of older workers, a feminist understanding of work and a life course perspective which provides a framework which links the previous three.

Keywords:   Age-based inequality, Feminist understanding of work, Intersectionality, Life course perspective, Neoliberal view on older workers

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