The discursive (re)positioning of older workers in Australian recruitment policy reform: An exemplary analysis of written and visual narratives

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 2013, 32 (1), pp. 4 - 21
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to provide a methodological demonstration of how written and visual language in narrative and small stories about older workers might be read in multiple ways as supporting and/or constraining recent policy reform. Design/methodology/approach Critical theory and critical discourse analysis, supported by narrative analysis and visual analysis, offer a robust methodology to problematize the manner in which textually mediated discourses impact social policy reform for recruiting, retraining and retaining older workers. Findings The results show that still in such an age positive social policy environment, negative stereotypes about older workers persist, threatening to constrain social change. Research limitations/implications An exemplary analysis of two texts, representative of those related to Australian government initiatives to reform access to work for older citizens, provides an accessible means of (re)evaluating if and how such policies are more inclusive of older workers. Originality/value This paper contributes to an emerging trend in organization studies using a critical discourse analytic approach not only to written texts, but also to the less familiar visual narratives and stories.
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