'Othering' older worker identity in recruitment

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Current research into organizational age discrimination has placed a focus on the consequences of ageism and economic pressures of an ageing workforce, rather than endeavouring to understand the social processes that create and reproduce ageist ideologies within an organizational context. This article departs from mainstream approaches within age and employment studies in order to explore older worker identity as a discursive phenomenon. Analysis shows how the social construction of the older worker may in itself serve to marginalize and contribute towards age inequalities through three discursive strategies: contextualizing the problem, essentializing older worker characteristics and ventriloquizing the older worker. The conclusions seek to situate these findings within larger political and practitioner debates concerning the older worker agenda and how distancing the older worker from chronological or biological determinism may serve to further our understanding of organizational age inequality as a social process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1701 - 1726
Number of pages26
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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