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Towards a new everyday

Individuals' meaning-making at the entry of retirement from a social inequality perspective

In the research project ‘Towards a new everyday. Individuals' meaning-making at the entry of retirement from a social inequality perspective’ (funded by the Kamprad Family Foundation 2014 -2015), we examine what it mean for people to exit working life and enter into a new everyday, as well as how they use various resources – economic, cultural and social – in this phase of life.

The research project is carried out by PhD Anna Lund (project leader), Associate Professor Mattias Bengtsson and Associate Professor Marita Flisbäck. Lund is co-worker at the Center for Cultural Sociology, Linnaeus University, Växjö. Bengtsson and Flisbäck are senior lecturers at the Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg, Göteborg.

The focus of the project

The formal retirement signals social norms on when it is appropriate to withdraw one’s labour power from the labour market. But these social norms may not correspond with the individual's own needs and values. Some want and are able to work until 67 years of age, some want to work even longer. Others are forced to end their careers much earlier due to being worn out or ill – exit from working life varies with both gender and socioeconomic position. But no matter when individuals retire, the process of retirement constitutes a significant breaking point in people's lives where another everyday begins and new habits and routines may be established. This can result in the creation of new social identities, belongings and forms of meaning-making – that the self’s place in larger contexts is brought to a head. Knowledge of how individuals manage withdrawal from the labour market depending on identities and resources related to class, gender and ethnicity are significant as the results can lead to better prospects to curb ill health and improve life quality among the elderly. Following this, the research project examines the transitional phase of retirement with questions on what it means for older people – existentially and in terms of identity and resources – to exit the labour force.

Project time: 2014-2015

Contact details:

Associate Professor Marita Flisbäck, marita.flisback@socav.gu.se

Associate Professor Mattias Bengtsson, mattias.bengtsson@socav.gu.se

PhD Anna Lund, anna.lund@lnu.se


Page Manager: Anders Östebo|Last update: 3/23/2015

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