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Special Issue in GWO: Gendered ageing in the New Economy

by on August 26, 2015

This week saw the publication of a special issue in the journal Gender, Work & Organization on Gendered Ageing in the New Economy. The issue appears here (but subscription required). It would be fair to say that the idea for this special issue started at the Gender, Work & Organization conference in 2012 (reported here on this blog) following an excellent stream of papers around the theme of ‘Gendered Ageing at Work’.

The special issue now published starts with a very useful introduction by the guest editors (Kat RiachWendy Loretto and Clary Krekula) which provides a brief overview of some of the formative approaches to exploring gender and age within work and organization studies. It then introduces the five papers, namely:

    1. Gendering Pensions: Making Women Visible by Jo Grady (abstract here). This paper uses the concept of heteropatriarchy, a term that ‘refers to the dominance of heterosexual male power’, to examines pension reform in the UK. It analyses how this is based on an idealised working life and how this is likely to contribute to the continuing disadvantage of women, undermining their contribution to the economy.
    2. Work, Age and Other Drugs: Exploring the Intersection of Age and Masculinity in a Pharmaceutical Organization by Barbara Foweraker and Leanne Cutcher.  This explores the work experiences of older male pharmaceutical sales representatives, many of whom are working well past traditional retirement age, and how they draw on ageing norms and successful ageing discourses rather than earlier held hegemonic masculinity ideals to construct what it meant for them to be an older man.
    3. ‘Success Is Satisfaction with What You Have’? Biographical Work–Life Balance of Older Female Employees in Public Administration by Elisabeth Schilling. This paper looks at older female employees in the public service sector in Germany, comparing women with middle-level qualifications to highly-qualified women in order to explore the intersection of age, qualification and work–life trajectories. It explores how two cohorts of women with contrasting qualifications and backgrounds negotiate work and non-work responsibilities, desires and aspirations.
    4. Technical Change and the Un/Troubling of Gendered Ageing in Healthcare Work by Susan Halford and colleagues. This paper features a Norwegian case study of healthcare professionals in two hospitals, specifically examining the role of new technologies in the workplace.  Against a background where ‘working longer’ is encouraged at Government level, gendered ageing in relation to these technologies can construct both troubled and untroubled identities.
    5. Taking Stock: A Visual Analysis of Gendered Ageing by Katrina Pritchard and Rebecca Whiting (this is our paper!).  We’ve already highlighted this in this earlier blog post but, suffice to say, we’re delighted that our paper was included in this excellent special issue.

Our thanks to the Guest Editors for a great job. The issue also includes reviews of three books that examine various aspects of ageing as an organizational and organizing phenomenon, namely:

  • Ageing, Corporeality and Embodiment, by Chris Gilleard and Paul Higgs. Anthem Press, 2014;
  • Fashion and Age: Dress, the Body, and Later Life, by Julie Twigg. Bloomsbury, 201;
  • Older Workers in an Ageing Society: Critical Topics in Research and Policy, edited by Philip Taylor. Edward Elgar Publishers, 2013.
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