Work and Entrepreneurship in Later Life

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:30-12:20
RC11 Sociology of Aging (host committee)

Language: English

Aging work force is a central political and social matter. It is, however, surrounded by complexity. Population ageing and discourses on healthy ageing have led to many countries taking steps towards extending working life. At the same time work organisations are characterised by age normality which leads to discrimination and unemployment among older people. Policies to raise the retirement age are often based on homogenous representations of older people, which risk creating increased inequality and, above all, placing women with great responsibility for informal care and those with physically demanding jobs in an economically disadvantaged situation. Simultaneously, entrepreneurship is encouraged among older people and senior entrepreneurs are a growing group in many countries. The group is dominated by men, persons with access to financial capital and a higher education levels. This indicates that senior entrepreneurship is about wealthy people’s creation of new opportunities later in life. Economic recessions, however, contribute to an increase in new companies among older people who are unemployed, which suggests that entrepreneurship can also provide an alternative to paid work for those in a precarious position in the labour market. The underlying processes and the consequences of these differing conditions for entrepreneurship later in life need to be problematised and highlighted.  This session looks at the labour market and work organisations from an age perspective and puts focus on challenges, opportunities and inequalities in relation to work and entrepreneurship in later life. We welcome both empirical and theoretical contributions.

Session Organizers:
Clary KREKULA, Karlstad University, Sweden and Justyna STYPIŃSKA, Free University Berlin, Germany
Oral Presentations
The Making of the Senior Entrepreneur: Heterogeneity and/or Homogeneity?
Elin VADELIUS, Department of Social and Psychological Studies, Karlstad University, Sweden
Mature Entrepreneurs in Germany and Poland – a Life Course Perspective on Self-Employment
Annette FRANKE, EH Ludwigsburg, Germany; Sabine DUMMERT, FU Berlin, Germany
Health Care Workers’ Motives for and Experiences of Working in Late Age
Carita BENGS, Umeå university, Sweden; Mikael STATTIN, Department of sociology, Umeå university, Sweden
The Silver Linings of Joblessness: Aging Workers Finding Meaning in the Unemployment Experience
Annette NIEROBISZ, Carleton College, USA; Dana SAWCHUK, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada
Distributed Papers
Paid Job and Grandparenthood in a City: Individual Reconciliation Practices
Inga GAIZAUSKAITE, Institute of Sociology at Lithuanian Social Research Centre, Lithuania
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