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The discursive (re)positioning of older workers in Australian recruitment policy reform: An exemplary analysis of written and visual narratives

Greer Johnson (Griffith Institute for Educational Research, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)
Stephen Billett (Griffith Institute for Educational Research, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)
Darryl Dymock (Griffith Institute for Educational Research, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)
Gregory Martin (Department of Education, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 1 January 2013

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a methodological demonstration of how written and visual language in narrative and small stories about older workers might be read in multiple ways as supporting and/or constraining recent policy reform.

Design/methodology/approach

Critical theory and critical discourse analysis, supported by narrative analysis and visual analysis, offer a robust methodology to problematize the manner in which textually mediated discourses impact social policy reform for recruiting, retraining and retaining older workers.

Findings

The results show that still in such an “age positive” social policy environment, negative stereotypes about older workers persist, threatening to constrain social change.

Research limitations/implications

An exemplary analysis of two texts, representative of those related to Australian government initiatives to reform access to work for older citizens, provides an accessible means of (re)evaluating if and how such policies are more inclusive of older workers.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to an emerging trend in organization studies using a critical discourse analytic approach not only to written texts, but also to the less familiar visual narratives and stories.

Keywords

Citation

Johnson, G., Billett, S., Dymock, D. and Martin, G. (2013), "The discursive (re)positioning of older workers in Australian recruitment policy reform: An exemplary analysis of written and visual narratives", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 4-21. https://doi.org/10.1108/02610151311305588

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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