Rethinking Retirement

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

32 Scopus citations


Because retirement is continuously being shaped by social policy, labor markets, economic systems, family dynamics, and personal predilections, retirement research has been the study of a changing social institution. Macro and micro level social processes have transformed what once was a status unavailable to the majority of older workers into a highly anticipated and often eagerly awaited stage of the life course. As the means of production shifted away from agriculture and the scale of enterprises grew, bureaucratic standardization of job entries and exits became a key component of labor force management. Defining the composition of that labor force relative to skill, speed, and compliance was linked with demographic traits such as age, gender, and education. Although the specifics have changed, retirement continues to be a key component of the social organization of work and the distribution of income. As categories of nonemployment, retirement, unemployment, disability, home production, and leisure are responsive to broader labor market conditions, prevailing economic policies, and social norms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
ISSN (Print)1389-6903
ISSN (Electronic)2542-839X

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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