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Workplace RERC


State of the Science Conference
September 15-16, 2005

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Supporting older workers at work: A conceptual framework

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Slides Index Slides 1-14 Slides 15-27 Slides 28-40 Slides 41-50

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  1. Age Stratification Theory
  2. In other words…
  3. Aging and Society Paradigm
  4. Aging and Society Paradigm
  5. Political Economy Of Aging Theory
  6. Ambivalence
  7. Ambivalence
  8. Ambivalence
  9. Ambivalence
  10. Sociological Aging Theory
  11. How Does Sociological Aging Theory Inform Us About Functional Ability?
  12. Outline
  13. Functional Ability, Aging and Productive Work

Slide 28 of 50

Age Stratification Theory

  • Stratification relates to the condition of being arranged into a set of social strata or classes
  • Riley (1972) describes allocation of social structure as the process whereby individuals are continually assigned and reassigned to particular roles.
  • Socialization is used in the context of describing how individuals are taught to perform these new roles in their aging culture

  • Slide 29 of 50

    In other words…

    How does the worker learn to take on each of the roles or positions required?
  • Senior Employee and …
  • Union Representative
  • Line Worker
  • Health and Safety Advisor
  • Mediator
  • Trainer

  • Slide 30 of 50

    Aging and Society Paradigm

  • Originates from age stratification theory and combines both temporal and social structure in an attempt to overcome the previous theory's conflict with structural lag (Riley and Riley, 1994).
  • It does this by introducing the concept of dynamism. Process and change factor in a temporal component in combination with human lives and social structure.
  • Two dynamisms - changes in lives and in structures
  • A
  • person's health is compromised due to illness or support activities change due to a parent becoming ill, the individual role played previous to these life changing experiences is reformulated from the previous structure to a new one, thus illustrating the two dynamisms (McMullin, 2000).

  • Slide 31 of 50

    Aging and Society Paradigm

  • Originates from age stratification theory and combines both temporal and social structure in an attempt to overcome the previous theory's conflict with structural lag (Riley and Riley, 1994).
  • It does this by introducing the concept of dynamism. Process and change factor in a temporal component in combination with human lives and social structure.
  • Two dynamisms - changes in lives and in structures
  • A person's health is compromised due to illness or support activities change due to a parent becoming ill, the individual role played previous to these life changing experiences is reformulated from the previous structure to a new one, thus illustrating the two dynamisms (McMullin, 2000).

  • Slide 32 of 50

    Political Economy Of Aging Theory

    The governing bodies responsible for social welfare policies are also implicated in the health, or lack thereof, of the aging population within its jurisdiction (McMullin, 2002)


    Slide 33 of 50

    Ambivalence

  • Aspects of relationships that are simultaneously positive and negative generate feelings of ambivalence (Willson, 2003).
  • Ambivalence is an important sociological concept to understand in order to manage the aging workforce

  • Slide 34 of 50

    Ambivalence

    Picture these scenarios faced by employees
  • I love my work / I hate my job because it hurts to work
  • I love my family / I hate not seeing my family because of work
  • I can retire at age 65 / I do not want to retire

  • Slide 35 of 50

    Ambivalence

    Picture these scenarios faced by employers
  • I can't meet our productivity requirements / I want to make a profit
  • I do not want to retire workers / Our corporate policy requires retirement at 65
  • I want experienced workers / Experience costs more

  • Slide 36 of 50

    Ambivalence

    Because of simultaneous positive and negative factors the aging worker challenge must consider availability of resources to the employer and the employee. The more resources available in the way of accommodation, finances and flexibility…the more employers and employees will be to able to negotiate a solution!


    Slide 37 of 50

    Sociological Aging Theory

    Sociological Aging Theory confirms that age is socially constructed and uniquely perceived depending on diversity.


    Slide 38 of 50

    How Does Sociological Aging Theory Inform Us About Functional Ability?

  • There does not seem to be a major decline in physical ability so this must leave the puzzle of aging and productivity squarely on the shoulders of society's ability to encourage and actually embrace older workers for potential contribution to society and work
  • Based on the previous section regarding psychological theories, it appears that encouraging activity and participation creates a healthier employee

  • Slide 39 of 50

    Outline

    Part 1 - Current State of Our Aging Population
    Part 2 - Contributions of Prominent Theories of Aging

  • Biological / Physiological
  • Psychological
  • Sociological
  • Part 3 - Functional Ability, Aging and Productive Work


    Slide 40 of 50

    Functional Ability, Aging and Productive Work


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