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    "Rusty, invisible and threatening": ageing, capital and employability

    Bowman, Dina and McGann, Michael and Kimberley, Helen and Biggs, Simon (2017) "Rusty, invisible and threatening": ageing, capital and employability. Work, Employment and Society, 31 (3). pp. 465-482. ISSN 0950-0170

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    Levels of mature-age unemployment and under-employment are increasing in Australia, with older jobseekers spending longer unemployed than younger jobseekers. This article focuses on two key explanations of the difficulties confronting older jobseekers: human capital theory, which focuses on the obsolescence of older workers’ job skills, and ageism in employment. Drawing upon narrative interviews with older Australians, it critically engages with both these understandings. Using a Bourdieusian analysis, it shows how ageing intersects with the deployment of different forms of capital that are valued within particular labour market fields to shape older workers’ ‘employability’. By examining how class, gender and age intersect to structure experiences of marginalization, it questions conventional analyses that see older workers as discriminated against simply because they are older.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Bowman, D., McGann, M., Kimberley, H., & Biggs, S. (2017). ‘Rusty, invisible and threatening’: ageing, capital and employability. Work, Employment and Society, 31(3), 465–482.
    Keywords: ageism; Bourdieu; gendered ageism; human capital; older workers;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, MUSSI
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
    Item ID: 13025
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Michael McGann
    Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2020 16:08
    Journal or Publication Title: Work, Employment and Society
    Publisher: Sage Publications
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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