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date: 04 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Age is one of the major social identities by which people are categorized but it has received meagre attention within organization studies. Organizations, however, are one of the key contexts in which age identities—and the relations between them—are accomplished. Age also constitutes a special case of identity fluidity and temporality: people are expected to progress sequentially through age categories and the meanings attributed to physical change experienced over time trigger instability, threatening coherence and continuity of self. This chapter discusses the critical potential and challenges of age identity through a review of the literature organized around five main themes: generations and generational identity, age identity categories such as the ‘older worker’, the intersection of age with other social identities, the meanings and experiences of retirement, and finally, the identity changes associated with later life and its management. The author concludes by arguing that a focus on age identities can encourage broader critical reflection about the colonization by work and production across the whole of life.

Keywords: age, older workers, gendered ageism, generations, retirement, old age, discourse, social identity, embodiment

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