About the conference

“The pluralisation of transitions to the after-working life phase:
Gender capital, silver productivity and mental health”
10-11 May 2019 – Ljubljana, Slovenia

The first day of the 10th Conference of the ESREA Research Network on Education and Learning of Older Adults (ELOA) 2019 in Ljubljana will discuss pluralisation of transitions to the after-working phase of life, including different forms of intermediate stages, educational programs to design the transition and the stage of life after work. Krajnc (2016) acknowledges that making new meaning of life is a necessary preparation for a successful transition to retirement. Forcing older people to a social and psychological death after the retirement by not giving them an opportunity to fully experience the new life situation that they are entering can be devastating not only for them, but also for our society and the state (Krajnc, 2016). In their quantitative research study of more than 2.000 interviewees (men and women) aged between 50 and 69 years from Germany, Schmidt-Hertha and Rees (2017) found that satisfaction with the workplace in all stages of the career, positive perception of work and high personal identification with the workplace are crucial elements on the path to retirement or motivation for delaying retirement. This can also be seen facing the newly appearing practices of bridge employment (part-time work before retirement) and re-careering (second career after legal retirement) (Boveda and Metz, 2016).

The second day of ELOA will merge with the multiplier event of the Erasmus+ project Old Guys Say Yes to Community, developed by four partners from the ELOA network. It will thematise the pluralisation of transition to the after-working life phase with the emphasis on gender capital and the need to re-define gender capital in the third and fourth life stage. As revieled by the study Old Guys Say Yes to Community, significantly fewer men in the third and fourth life stages than women of the same age realise the importance of lifelong learning and of the advantages of active participation in the community. The low participation rates of older men in organised learning programmes and other free-time activities are evident from a number of research studies (Merriam and Kee, 2014; Schuller and Desjardins, 2007; Tett and Maclachlan, 2007), many of which link this to the men’s quality of life, which is lower than the opportunities available to them in their environments otherwise allow (Courtenay, 2000; Golding 2011a, 2011b; Oliffe and Han, 2014). Research also demonstrates that older men marginalise, isolate and alienate themselves more frequently than their female partners (McGivney, 2004; Williamson, 2011; Vandervoort, 2012; Holwerda et al., 2012), that they are more likely to be subjected to loneliness (Wang et al., 2002; Paúl and Ribeiro, 2009) and that they increasingly rely on their wives and life partners, depending on them emotionally as well as in terms of care, etc. (Vandervoort, 2012; Dettinger and Clarkberg, 2002).

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