PART I: Introducing Older Worker Job Transitions in a Neoliberal Era

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More people are extending their paid working lives either through necessity or by choice in the context of increasingly precarious labour markets. As a result, the importance of job transitions in older age has grown significantly. This book goes beyond aggregated statistics to explore the lived experiences of older people attempting to make job transitions in European countries. The opening two chapters in Part I explore the changing historical and policy context, and this discussion is supported by statistics on changing job transitions in 16 countries. It is argued that job transitions today must be understood in the context of neoliberal responsibilisation, which shifts responsibility onto the older person to ‘choose’ to take whatever job opportunities are available to them. Country chapters in Part II draw on qualitative research to examine how older people seek to navigate a range of transitions in this context, often under adverse conditions. These chapters cover job redeployment/mobility in the UK and Sweden, temporary employment in Belgium, unemployment in Italy, employment beyond pension age in Germany and the UK, and transitions to retirement in Ireland. The concluding chapter in Part III discusses the findings and contribution of the book in light of arguments about neoliberal responsibilisation, drawing together qualitative evidence from across the book as a whole. This book makes an important contribution to debates on employment and retirement in older age and is essential reading for scholars from social gerontology, management, sociology, social policy and public administration.

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