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    Gender and generations

    Pritchard, K. and Whiting, Rebecca (2012) Gender and generations. In: Gender, Work and Organization 2012: 7th Biennial International Interdisciplinary Conference, 27th - 29th June 2012, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK. (Unpublished)

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    Various conceptualisations and categorisations of age are of central importance to our understanding and experience of changing employment, retirement and educational policy within the UK. Particularly in the media, but also in academic reports, certain issues are frequently positioned as either impacting or being caused by specific generations or cohorts (Zardo and Geldens, 2009). Generational tensions emerge as ‘young’ and ‘old’ are constructed as mutually exclusive in the labour market yet there are similarities in the means (including regulatory) and measures (including chronological age) of exclusion. Meanwhile, much advice is on offer to organizations so they might effectively ‘manage’ both individual generations (Y, X and so on) whilst also addressing inter-generational issues (e.g. Logan, 2008). In this respect, our interpretation of ageing is deliberately inclusive of all the above categories (Duncan and Loretto, 2004). Situated within this broader context, and drawing on our internet-based ‘e-research’ project (Hine, 2005), our paper presents a discursive analysis of the ways in which age and gender are variously co-constructed via a variety of web-based media. We follow various ‘conversations’ as these provide the opportunity to examine specific constructions in relation to other discussions of interest to organization and management researchers. This will involve, for example, looking at relationships between age and gender as positioned in discussions of competence with technology (Adam et al., 2004) or aesthetic labour (Warhurst and Nickson, 2007). Our analytic focus will be how specific discursive constructions produce particular ‘entanglements’ of gender and generation with respect to these topics, while also reviewing the extent to which we find (web)sites of resistance. Our approach to e-research utilises a variety of tools (e.g. Nexis, Google Alerts and Twilerts) to explore a range of media, thus enabling consideration of different forms of “bodies of texts” (Phillips et al., 2004: 636). The internet resources reviewed will include a variety of public forums including blogs, news stories and campaigning websites, with due ethical consideration given to the collection and use of data (Eynon et al., 2008). This methodological focus will further address the current lack of analysis of web-based data in critical discourse studies (Mautner, 2005) though also prompts reflexive engagement with a variety of practical and ethical challenges (Hookway, 2008). In summary, our paper offers a methodologically innovative and conceptually inclusive perspective on the inter-relationships between age and gender at work.


    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2016 17:07
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:22


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