The meaning of work for older employed people learning to understand age discrimination in South Korea

You, Yong Lim (2014). The meaning of work for older employed people learning to understand age discrimination in South Korea. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis presents the voices of older workers in South Korea through their life stories and experiences in order to interpret how employed older people understand age discrimination in employment, by studying the following four areas: how older workers understand the value of work; theories and concepts of ageing; age discrimination; and South Korea’s policies and programmes for employing older people.

In order to interpret in depth the understanding of age discrimination in employment amongst a sample of eighteen employed older Koreans, a biographical method was adopted which generated experiences of age discrimination within each person’s life story. These were analysed using biographical narrative analysis.

These employed older people enjoyed working and chose to work both because they wanted to and because this was the only way of meeting their various needs. Others believed that they were people who liked to work and be active and yet others believed that it was their destiny to work, even though they felt more tired as they grew older. They strongly believed that their work performance was still good enough to be competitive. In terms of age discrimination, they revealed the dilemma between their hope of working and the consideration that younger people were currently unemployed. Nevertheless, they did not accept the effect on their working lives of age discrimination which disregarded their capacity to work. In this sense, some interviewees hope that the government will provide an environment and opportunity for older workers to show their ability to work.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Institute of Applied Social Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare


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