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

Kathleen Riach, Simon Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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
JournalOrganization
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this

@article{0eb75c6584244554b527a57ba513b375,
title = "The need for fresh blood: Understanding organizational age inequality through a vampiric lens",
abstract = "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.",
author = "Kathleen Riach and Simon Kelly",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1177/1350508413508999",
language = "English",
volume = "22",
pages = "287 -- 305",
journal = "Organization",
issn = "1350-5084",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "3",

}

The need for fresh blood: Understanding organizational age inequality through a vampiric lens. / Riach, Kathleen; Kelly, Simon.

In: Organization, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2015, p. 287 - 305.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The need for fresh blood: Understanding organizational age inequality through a vampiric lens

AU - Riach, Kathleen

AU - Kelly, Simon

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

U2 - 10.1177/1350508413508999

DO - 10.1177/1350508413508999

M3 - Article

VL - 22

SP - 287

EP - 305

JO - Organization

JF - Organization

SN - 1350-5084

IS - 3

ER -