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Research Seminar
23rd April 2015
Oxford Brookes
Age at work
Collaborators:
Rebecca Whiting, Birkbeck
(Age at work, @ageatw...
Session overview
Whistle - stop tour
Discourses of age: generations
Discourses of age: missing million
Beyond text: visual...
Whistle-stop tour
Scope of research (c. 2011)
All ages and all age groups
Exploring ‘language’ of age at work
Unpack voice and opportunit...
Motivations and interests
 Challenge assumptions about age (naturalisation of
chronological age)
 Consider how ‘young’ a...
Broad research question
How are notions of age, age identities and
related concepts, socially constructed
online* in relat...
“research not
just about the
Internet but
also on it and
through it
and
constituted
within it”
(Hine, 2005)
Relevance?
 Unpack and explore what we might previously
have labelled ‘context’ or ignored
 Look at interactions between...
Relevance?
 Web 2.0 “permeates and even replaces traditional
forms of organizing” (Pablo and Hardy, 2012: 822)
 Challeng...
Discourses of Age:
Generations
Generations
 Generations are cohorts shaped by a shared socio-
cultural environment
 Generational cohort theory predicts...
Baby Boomers: are ‘older’ and
 lucky, selfish, conservative, risk adverse, blocking
access to jobs for young people
 in ...
Lost Generation: are ‘young’ and
 unlucky, jobless with an (unearned) sense of
entitlement to work
 this entitlement is ...
What’s interesting about this?
 The conflation and entanglement of generational
labels with age groups based on chronolog...
What’s interesting about this?
 Tensions between baby boomers and the lost generation
are emergent rather than natural st...
What’s interesting about this?
 Terms require less and less explanation across
different media as the establishment of
ge...
Discourses of Age:
‘Missing million’
Discourses of unemployment
 Fight and struggle (Straehle et al., 1999)
 Need to be rescued (Cole, 2008)
 Moral salvatio...
On 16th November 2011 the UK Office of
National Statistics quarterly Labour
Market Statistics Bulletin reported that
“unem...
The numbers game
 Youth unemployment vs. ‘the elderly’
 Youth 16-24 vs ?
 ONS figures 16-64
 Youth further broken down...
‘Youth’ vs ‘the elderly’: 14/11
TSO(CHILDREN) PRESS RELEASE: The most
disadvantaged unemployed 16 and 17
year olds are bei...
Another missing million?
Three years later, on 23rd October 2014, a report
entitled ‘The missing million: illuminating the...
Work in progress
 Adopting a case study approach (Rao et al., 2000)
to examine these two debates.
 Uses a shortitudinal ...
Discourse beyond text:
Visual analysis of
gendered ageing
Research Process
Identify sample of
images
‘Archaeological’*
Visual analysis
Initial sample of 120 images
reduced to 16 fo...
Methodological challenges
 Complexity of online news and stock images
 Production vs. consumption
 Our consumption of d...
Gendered Ageing
 ‘gendered discourses saturate our society and
guide the way we think of ourselves, respond to
others and...
Picture credit: Johnny Greig / Alamy
Older woman
perched on
the edge
Older man
at apex of a
pyramid, in
command
of the table
Colour ‘rose’
represents youth
but...
Gendered ageing and the
Entrepreneur:
From ‘weary women’ to
Barbie and back again
Wearies
 Wearies: ‘Working, Entrepreneurial and Active
Retirees’. They are innovative and entrepreneurial
contributors to...
Real image/Alamy
Mark Baigent Life/ Alamy
Weary women: issues raised
 Gendering of the images:
 Assumptions made about the present woman and
the absent man
 Subj...
Methodological
footnotes
Visual analyses
 Increasing attention towards the visual in
management studies
 Impossible to ignore in a digital contex...
Internet = Big data? Better data?
 More data, meta data, better data
 Synchronous and cotemporaneous data
 Archive and ...
Small data in a big data world
 Snippets, fragments and hints at data
 tweets, youtube videos, slideshare presentations,...
Dilemmas
 Web 2.0 data is messy; some “types” are better?
more like ‘ordinary’ data?
 Trying to fit-in:
 Separating tex...
Examining consumption off
line
 Current focus on ‘stock’ images:
 Group photo-elicitation (image out of context, image
i...
What next?
K pritchard for oxford brookes 23 apr15
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K pritchard for oxford brookes 23 apr15

  1. 1. Research Seminar 23rd April 2015 Oxford Brookes Age at work Collaborators: Rebecca Whiting, Birkbeck (Age at work, @ageatwork) Kate Mackenzie Davey & Helen Cooper, Birkbeck (Can Barbie be an entrepreneur?) Katrina Pritchard @DrKPritchard Research part funded by Richard Benjamin Trust (Early Career Award 1103) © 2015 Katrina Pritchard. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Session overview Whistle - stop tour Discourses of age: generations Discourses of age: missing million Beyond text: visual analyses of gendered ageing Gendered ageing and the entrepreneur: from weary women to Barbie and back again. What next?
  3. 3. Whistle-stop tour
  4. 4. Scope of research (c. 2011) All ages and all age groups Exploring ‘language’ of age at work Unpack voice and opportunities for voice (who is being heard online?) Explore, apply and develop qualitative online research methodologies
  5. 5. Motivations and interests  Challenge assumptions about age (naturalisation of chronological age)  Consider how ‘young’ and ‘old’ constructed as distinct in the labour market and similarities in the means (e.g. regulatory) and measures (e.g. chronological age) of exclusion  Explore a neglected (in management) aspect of diversity (universality of ageing etc.)
  6. 6. Broad research question How are notions of age, age identities and related concepts, socially constructed online* in relation to issues of work ? (*Online here used in a broad sense to refer to Web 2.0 media as data and internet-mediated research as method)
  7. 7. “research not just about the Internet but also on it and through it and constituted within it” (Hine, 2005)
  8. 8. Relevance?  Unpack and explore what we might previously have labelled ‘context’ or ignored  Look at interactions between organizations and/or the ways in which organizations engage with others online  Examine the ways in which individuals (including employees, customers etc.) engage with different organizations
  9. 9. Relevance?  Web 2.0 “permeates and even replaces traditional forms of organizing” (Pablo and Hardy, 2012: 822)  Challenges the “assumption that organising necessarily occurs in organisations” (Ashcraft, 2007:11)  “media spectacle” (Tan, 2011): follow stories as they unfold across various different media  We might call this Digital Discourse Analysis
  10. 10. Discourses of Age: Generations
  11. 11. Generations  Generations are cohorts shaped by a shared socio- cultural environment  Generational cohort theory predicts that this affects individual values, attitudes, beliefs (e.g. Twenge et al, 2012)  Increasingly used as a shorthand as practitioner texts and a proxy for age in scholarly work (Foster, 2013)  Includes specific generational categories and broader notions of ‘generational difference’
  12. 12. Baby Boomers: are ‘older’ and  lucky, selfish, conservative, risk adverse, blocking access to jobs for young people  in a privileged financial position with contested entitlement to paid work  alternatively, as victims, having lost their savings and struggling to find work  responsible for creating the lost generation, and any negative consequences e.g. riots  having lost the ability to protest with meaningful impact (a giant postcard)
  13. 13. Lost Generation: are ‘young’ and  unlucky, jobless with an (unearned) sense of entitlement to work  this entitlement is challenged through disputed individual capability  their talent is presented as potentiality  as the most disadvantaged in relation to finding work  as child-like in their lack of ability to accept or take responsibility, e.g. tackling their joblessness is beyond the individual capacity  as a group ready to riot who, without access to work, as both damaged and likely to cause damage
  14. 14. What’s interesting about this?  The conflation and entanglement of generational labels with age groups based on chronology  This is presented as factual, creating equivalence between baby boomers and older workers and between the lost generation and youth  Familial generational notions (child, parent, grandparent) are enrolled within cohort-focused debate e.g. lost generation’s is constructed as child- like in their lack of ability to accept or take responsibility  Those falling chronologically between LG and BB are marginalised in debates about entitlement, responsibility and consequences
  15. 15. What’s interesting about this?  Tensions between baby boomers and the lost generation are emergent rather than natural states  Generational categories are constructed and deployed as an organising principle in ways that legitimate age-related differences, in particular, the entitlement of different age groups to paid work  Use of dormant term (lost generation) allows previous cultural understandings to be re-assigned, re-understood and used with political effects
  16. 16. What’s interesting about this?  Terms require less and less explanation across different media as the establishment of generational labelling acquires legitimacy  Legitimacy allows for differential treatment of age groups (once constructed as ‘generations’)  This avoids issues of age discrimination  Focus on generations deflects from more structural factors affecting jobs and work
  17. 17. Discourses of Age: ‘Missing million’
  18. 18. Discourses of unemployment  Fight and struggle (Straehle et al., 1999)  Need to be rescued (Cole, 2008)  Moral salvation of work (Whiteside, 2013)  Age dimensions (Fevre, 2011)  Scrapheap especially of early retirement  Getting a foot on the ladder  Emergence of the NEET (Furlong, 2006; MacDonald, 2011)  scarring effect of youth employment (Bell & Blanchflower, 2010)
  19. 19. On 16th November 2011 the UK Office of National Statistics quarterly Labour Market Statistics Bulletin reported that “unemployed people aged from 16 to 24 increased by 67,000 over the quarter to reach 1.02 million … The unemployment level and rate for people aged from 16 to 24 are the highest since directly comparable records began in 1992”. The missing million
  20. 20. The numbers game  Youth unemployment vs. ‘the elderly’  Youth 16-24 vs ?  ONS figures 16-64  Youth further broken down 16&17 vs 18-24; students seeking part time work vs. others  Youth unemployment vs. foreign workers  Debate about the statistics particularly measures used by different political parties  Attempts to highlight other groups overshadowed: long term unemployed, women, those with criminal records
  21. 21. ‘Youth’ vs ‘the elderly’: 14/11 TSO(CHILDREN) PRESS RELEASE: The most disadvantaged unemployed 16 and 17 year olds are being ignored UKNATIONAL NEWS: Training scheme sees 900% rise in apprenticeships for over-60s. More elderly are taking up government skills programme, but youth unemployment is expected to hit one million. For those aged 60 and over, there has been an 878% increase – from 400 signing up in the year 2009-10, to 3,910 in the last year. UKNATIONAL NEWS:Preliminary data for October show a 900 percent increase in government funded apprenticeships being taken up by people over 60. The apprentice scheme was set up to give youth a chance to get on the job ladder. MEDIAORGANIZATION: Apprenticeships must help young workers @INDIVIDUAL More elderly are taking up government skills programme, but youth unemployment is expected to hit one million @TSO Over-60s apprenticeships up 900%! While youth unemployment about to hit 1 million mark... @NEWS Apprenticships (sic) up 900% as youth unemployment tops 1 million (NEWSLINK) @TSO(CHILDREN) Did you know: the unemployment rate for 16 and 17 year olds has almost doubled in the last decade? (WEBSITE LINK) @MEDIAORGANIZATION FOR OLDER PEOPLE Unemployment has hit one million @NATIONALNEWS Youth unemployment to hit 1 million as over 60s forced back to work by Coalition retrain
  22. 22. Another missing million? Three years later, on 23rd October 2014, a report entitled ‘The missing million: illuminating the employment challenges of the over 50s’ was published by PRIME (The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise, part of Business in the Community) in association with the International Longevity Centre.
  23. 23. Work in progress  Adopting a case study approach (Rao et al., 2000) to examine these two debates.  Uses a shortitudinal analysis investigates media coverage during the two week period around each of these announcements.  Focus both on what is said and by whom  Competition for:  jobs,  to be the most deserving recipient of the limited resources/support.
  24. 24. Discourse beyond text: Visual analysis of gendered ageing
  25. 25. Research Process Identify sample of images ‘Archaeological’* Visual analysis Initial sample of 120 images reduced to 16 for analysis from criteria related to research question Used Rose (2012), Davison (2010), Machin (2004) ‘Dialogical’* Visual analysis Group photo-elicitation, 39 participants ‘what is your impression of these photos?’, Thematic analysis of comments Refine sample of images Purchased rights to 3 stock images (*Meyer et. al, 2013)
  26. 26. Methodological challenges  Complexity of online news and stock images  Production vs. consumption  Our consumption of data from online news  Our (re)production in different form for photo-elicitation  Photo-elicitation exercise  Image vs. image and text  responses as discursive fragments  more emotional commentary than in our own analysis – why?
  27. 27. Gendered Ageing  ‘gendered discourses saturate our society and guide the way we think of ourselves, respond to others and negotiate identity in our interactions’ (Mackenzie Davey, 2008: 654)  Intersectionality: ‘how multiple sources of disadvantage combine’ (Woodhams et al., 2013:1)  Looking at ‘young’ professionals Kelan (2014: 801) finds ‘age is used to make gender unspeakable’
  28. 28. Picture credit: Johnny Greig / Alamy
  29. 29. Older woman perched on the edge Older man at apex of a pyramid, in command of the table Colour ‘rose’ represents youth but all eyes are on the younger woman Picture credit: Johnny Greig / Alamy ‘stereotypically older person is the boss, reviewing the work of a young team, seated woman presenting the work so everyone is listening/focusing on her’ ‘she [young woman] has called all these together to make some sort of announcement’ ‘ this [narrow age range] shows you don’t have youth or old age in a successful environment’
  30. 30. Gendered ageing and the Entrepreneur: From ‘weary women’ to Barbie and back again
  31. 31. Wearies  Wearies: ‘Working, Entrepreneurial and Active Retirees’. They are innovative and entrepreneurial contributors to the UK economy” (Daily Mail, 2012)  Pensioners who find it hard to get paid employment because of their age but who cannot afford to retire (Future Foundation, 2011)  Potential way out of double bind?  damned if they work (being selfish, taking jobs from the lost generation) and damned if they don’t (unvalued, burden on society) (Pritchard and Whiting, 2014)
  32. 32. Real image/Alamy Mark Baigent Life/ Alamy
  33. 33. Weary women: issues raised  Gendering of the images:  Assumptions made about the present woman and the absent man  Subject position of the ‘female pensioner’  Compare/contrast with media representations women across the life course  Disconnect between W.E.A.R.Y and ‘weary’: does this undermine even ridicule idea of older entrepreneur?
  34. 34. Methodological footnotes
  35. 35. Visual analyses  Increasing attention towards the visual in management studies  Impossible to ignore in a digital context?  Particular research focus on advertising and commodification of the young, female body  Within management studies focus on corporate reports:  Diversity mosaic  Graduate recruitment brochures  Annual reports
  36. 36. Internet = Big data? Better data?  More data, meta data, better data  Synchronous and cotemporaneous data  Archive and archaeological data  Big data as the capacity for big research (Boyn and Crawford, 2012)  Big data as mapping, mining, scrapping  Ethical issues
  37. 37. Small data in a big data world  Snippets, fragments and hints at data  tweets, youtube videos, slideshare presentations, posts and comments etc.  data that might never be data (e.g. moderation)  Composite/transient nature of websites and online media  Images, text, tags, hyperlinks combing in “a unique mixture of the ephemeral and the permanent” (Schneider & Foot, 2004:115)  How we navigate the maps and negotiate the mines  Socio-material and practice-based perspectives
  38. 38. Dilemmas  Web 2.0 data is messy; some “types” are better? more like ‘ordinary’ data?  Trying to fit-in:  Separating text and image into recognisable forms (a version of transcription)  Categorising and counting
  39. 39. Examining consumption off line  Current focus on ‘stock’ images:  Group photo-elicitation (image out of context, image in context)  Plan qualitative photo-response survey subject to funding  How to examine interactivity in Web 2.0?  What aspects of consumption can be captured e.g. via comments etc.  How to explore internet practice off and online
  40. 40. What next?

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