The need for fresh blood: Understanding organizational age inequality through a vampiric lens

Kathleen Riach, Simon Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This article argues that older age inequality within and across working life is the result of vampiric forms and structures constitutive of contemporary organizing. Rather than assuming ageism occurs against a backdrop of neutral organizational processes and practices, the article denaturalizes (and in the process super-naturalizes) organizational orientations of ageing through three vampiric aspects: (un)dying, regeneration and neophilia. These dimensions are used to illustrate how workplace narratives and logics normalize and perpetuate the systematic denigration of the ageing organizational subject. Through our analysis it is argued that older workers are positioned as inevitable sacrificial objects of the all-consuming immortal organization. To challenge this, the article explicitly draws on the vampire and the vampiric in literature and popular culture to consider the possibility of subverting existing notions of the older worker in order to confront and challenge the subtle and persistent monstrous discourses that shape organizational life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287 - 305
Number of pages19
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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