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Age at Work

Age at Work
Ambiguous Boundaries of Organizations, Organizing and Ageing

December 2020 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Age at Work explores the myriad ways in which ‘age’ is at ‘work’ across society, organizations and workplaces, with special focus on organizations, their boundaries, and marginalizing processes around age and ageism in and across these spaces.

 The book examines:

  • How society operates in and through age, and how this informs the very existence of organizations
  • Age-organization regimes, age-organization boundaries, and the relationship between organizations and death, and post-death
  • The importance of memory, forgetting and rememorizing in re-thinking the authors’ and others’ earlier work
  • Tensions between seeing age in terms of later life and seeing age as pervasive social relations.

Enriched with insights from the authors’ lived experiences, Age at Work is a major and timely intervention in studies of age, work, care and organizations. Ideal for students of Sociology, Organizations and Management, Social Policy, Gerontology, Health and Social Care, and Social Work.


Part 1: Setting the Scene
1. Forgetting and Remembering Age: From Invisibility to Recognition
Part 2: Society, Age and Organizations
2. Age in Society: Hegemony, Contingency and Intersectionality with Richard Howson
3. Society in Age: Hegemony, Historicity and Knowledge with Richard Howson
Part 3: Age-Organization Regimes
4. The Making of Organizations: Contexts, Forms and Aims with Charlotta Niemistö
5. The Doing of Organizations: Structures, Processes and Talk with Charlotta Niemistö
Part 4: Age-Organization Boundaries
6. Age, Organizations and Boundaries: An Overview
7. Age at Work: Autobiographical Reflections on Age-Organization Boundaries and Ambiguities
8. Living Afterlife: Age-Organization Boundaries in Practice
9. The Final Boundary?: Organization(s) and Organizing of Death
10. The Power of Absence: The Organization(s) and Organizing of Post-Death
11. Concluding: Another Ambiguous Boundary

We've all been told, "Too old for this, too young for that." In this masterly study Hearn and Parkin show how organizations organize human beings into categories. Calendars, chronologies and "ticking clocks" mobilize to tell us what we are and who we are becoming. Birth and death are certainties, but age and ageing are where power meets opinion.


Terrell Carver
Professor of Political Theory, University of Bristol, UK

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