Changing Images of Retirement and the ‘Flexicurity’ Policy: Labour Market Flexibility, Mobility and Security in Social Dialogue on Retirement in Poland

By Agnieszka A. Piasna.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Retirement change is closely linked to increasingly fragmented and diversified life courses in modern societies and challenges of an ageing population. Poland is an important case for the analysis, as both demographic and economic challenges create a need to postpone retirement and therefore shape new attitudes towards an exit from the labour market. The analysis of social dialogue aims to understand the advancement of these processes. This study focused on written content created by important actors in the public sphere and communicated to the wider audience. Three major campaigns taking place in 2007-2008 in Poland were selected for the analysis, providing a diversified sample of groups typically involved in social dialogue: Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, trade union “Solidarność” (Solidarity) and NGO. It was hypothesised that transitions to retirement are presented as more flexible and fragmented, while ‘old certainties’, such as job security, are replaced by employability (‘individual security’) and self-reliance in managing working lives. A method of content analysis was employed to all 29 written texts, in total 245 pages, created and publicized by three campaigns, including press releases, manifestos, brochures and reports. ‘Flexicurity’, the EU policy strategy simultaneously promoting flexibility and security in labour market transitions, was adopted as a conceptual framework for the analysis. Flexicurity very accurately reflects principles of new retirement patterns required by the changing social and economic structures of European societies. Results indicate that the development of a ‘new’ model of retirement, found in many previous studies, is hardly reflected in the campaigns. Reasons and implications are discussed.

Keywords: Flexicurity, Retirement Transitions, Social Dialogue, Life Course, Images of Ageing

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.121-134. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 738.055KB).

Agnieszka A. Piasna

PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK


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