Too Old to Work: Views on Reemployment in Older Unemployed Immigrants in Germany
- 198 Downloads
Despite active aging discourses and labor force integration goals, unemployment and dependency on welfare institutions among older workers still prevails, especially among vulnerable groups like immigrants or women. However, little is known about how older immigrants understand or cope with unemployment. The present study investigates the interplay between age, gender and immigrant status in making sense of unemployment and reemployment barriers. Episodic interviews were conducted with 12 Russian-speaking and 12 Turkish unemployed immigrants living in Germany. Older unemployed immigrants perceived age as an important barrier for reemployment and used old age to make sense of their unemployment, setting the stage for the internalization of negative age stereotypes. Gender norms may be less important than age perceptions in the context of unemployment. Different intervention alternatives are discussed in relation to the immigrant unemployed aging groups studied.
KeywordsGlobalization/immigration Immigrants Qualitative research methods Health Workforce issues Ageism
The first author did not receive any funding for the current study. The second and third authors received financial support for the research reported in this article from the Institute for Employment Research (the Research Institute of the Federal Employment Agency in Germany) in a collaborative project of the institute and the Freie Universität Berlin. The fourth author contributed as member of this institute to the article.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Ethical Treatment of Experimental Subjects (Animal and Human)
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
- Akhavan, S., Bildt, C. O., Franzén, E. C., & Wamala, S. (2004). Health in relation to unemployment and sick leave among immigrants in Sweden from a gender perspective. Journal of Immigrant Health, 6(3), 103–118. https://doi.org/10.1023/b:joih.0000030226.59785.38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Burkert, C., Hochfellner, D., Wurdack, A.(2012), Ältere Migrantinnen Und Migranten Am Arbeitsmarkt [Old Migrants on the Job Market]. In Viele Welten Des Alterns [Many Aging Worlds], pp 77–100. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-531-19011-2_3.
- Butterwegge, C. (2015). Hartz IV und die Folgen. Auf dem Weg in eine andere Republik? [Hartz IV and its Consequences. On the way to another Republic?] Weinheim/Basel: Beltz Juventa.Google Scholar
- Cahill, K. E, Giandrea, M. D., & Quinn, J. F. (2013). Retirement patterns and the macroeconomy, 1992–2010: The prevalence and determinants of bridge jobs, phased retirement, and reentry among three recent cohorts of older Americans. The Gerontologist Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnt156
- Carney, G. M., & Gray, M. (2015). Unmasking the “elderly mystique”: Why it is time to make the personal political in ageing research. Journal of Aging Studies, 35, 123–134. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2015.08.007
- Calasanti, T. (2015). Combating Ageism: How Successful Is Successful Aging? The Gerontologist, 56(6), 1093–1101. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnv076
- Craciun, C., Gellert, P., & Flick, U. (2015b). Aging in precarious circumstances: Do positive views on aging make a difference? The Gerontologist, gnv135. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnv135.
- Flick, U. (2014). An introduction to qualitative research (5th ed.). London: SAGE.Google Scholar
- Garcy, A. M., & Vågerö, D. (2012). The length of unemployment predicts mortality, differently in men and women, and by cause of death: A six-year mortality follow-up of the Swedish 1992–1996 recession. Social Science & Medicine, 74(12), 1911–1920. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.01.034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Jolanki, O. (2009). Talk about old age, health and morality. In Valuing older people, journal of aging studies (pp. 261–274). https://doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847422927.003.0016.Google Scholar
- Moen, P., Kojola, E., & Schaefers, K. (2016). Organizational change around an older workforce. The Gerontologist, gnw048. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnw048.
- Oude Mulders, J., Henkens, K., & Schippers, J. (2016). European top managers’ age-related workplace norms and their organizations’ recruitment and retention practices regarding older workers. The Gerontologist, gnw076. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnw076.
- Solms-Laubach, F. (2009). Warum Türken bei der Integration nicht mitspielen. Die Welt. Retrieved from http://www.welt.de