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Work, Aging, and Risks to Family Life: The Case of Australia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2015

Simon Biggs*
Affiliation:
School of Social & Political Sciences, University of Melbourne
Ashley Carr
Affiliation:
School of Social & Political Sciences, University of Melbourne
Irja Haapala
Affiliation:
University of Eastern Finland
*
La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à: / Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to: Simon Biggs, Ph.D. School of Social & Political Sciences 537 John Medley Building University of Melbourne Victoria VIC 3010 Australia (biggss@unimelb.edu.au)

Abstract

The relationship between work and family is considered with an emphasis on policy solutions. Australian policy is a case example in the context of international trends. A mismatch between policy initiatives and familial and personal priorities constitutes a new social risk associated with demographic and sociocultural development. Contemporary trends, both nationally and internationally, evidence solutions to the “problem of demographic aging” by adopting a form of economic instrumentalism. This restricts legitimate age identities to those associated with work and work-related activity. When applied to family life, such a focus runs the risk of reducing policy interest in intergenerational engagement to unpaid care roles, while personal development and age-related life priorities are ignored. The need for cultural adaptation to population aging is becoming accepted in policy debate and is considered here as an effective response to the personal, social, and economic risks of population aging and associated impacts on family life.

Résumé

Cette étude examine les relations entre le travail et la famille, en mettant l'accent sur les solutions politiques. La politique australienne est l'exemple de cas dans le contexte des tendances internationales. Un désaccord entre les initiatives politiques et les priorités familiales et personnelles représente un nouveau risque social associé à l'évolution démographique et socioculturelle. Les tendances contemporaines, à la fois nationaux et internationaux, montrent des solutions au "problème du vieillissement démographique" en adoptant une forme d'instrumentalisation économique. Cela limite l'identités d'âge légitimes à ceux qui sont associées avec le travail et l'activité liée au travail. Lorsqu'elle est appliqué à la vie de famille, une telle focalisation risque de réduire l'intérêt de la politique en engagement intergénérationnel à des rôles de soins non rémunérés, tandis qu'on ne tient compte du développement personnel et des priorités de la vie liées à l'âge. Le besoin d'une adaptation culturelle au vieillissement démographique est plus acceptée dans le débat politique, et est considéré ici comme une réponse efficace aux risques personnels, sociaux et économiques du vieillissement de la population et les impacts connexes sur la vie familiale.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 2015 

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