Critical interpretive research into the life world experiences of mature-aged workers marginalised from the labour force

Kossen, Christopher (2008) Critical interpretive research into the life world experiences of mature-aged workers marginalised from the labour force. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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This thesis explores the subjective life world experiences of a group of mature-aged workers in regional Australia who are marginalised from the labour market, either by having no employment, or insufficient employment. The context of these marginalised mature-aged workers is shaped by key factors explored in this thesis, including negative stereotypes of ageing, employer discrimination and the emergence of a core-periphery labour market, where many workers remain trapped on the periphery. Given these contextual factors it is not surprising that participants in the study were frustrated by what they perceived as discrimination by employers and employment agencies, based on a perception that they were unable to adapt to the dynamics of the new economy. Participants also complained that services available from both Centrelink and the Job Network were demeaning and inappropriate for their needs. The thesis also explores the impact of labour force marginalisation on participants’ financial, psychological and relationship experiences and concludes that unemployment and underemployment cause considerable disadvantage and distress. The thesis concludes with a discussion of three workshops provided to participants as a means of addressing: firstly, potentially debilitative psychological impacts of labour force marginalisation; secondly, the individualisation of blame for labour force marginalisation associated with neoliberal rhetoric and; thirdly, literacy-based job search strategies that are designed to help participants attain desirable employment outcomes. This study provides some support for the utility of workshops based on action research principles as an intervention-based measure for the benefit of marginalised workers. Overall this study provides qualitative support to complement the existing body of predominately quantitative research in this field.

Item ID: 7897
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: mature-aged workers, regional Australia, labour force, labor, employment, stereotypes, discrimination, marginalisation, marginalization, experiences, blame, job search strategies
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2010 06:25
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150305 Human Resources Management @ 30%
14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140211 Labour Economics @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified @ 40%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9405 Work and Institutional Development > 940501 Employment Patterns and Change @ 30%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940103 Ageing and Older People @ 30%
91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9102 Microeconomics > 910202 Human Capital Issues @ 40%
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