“Who will hire me now?”: Views on reemployment in aging immigrants
AbstractBackground: Despite active aging discourses and labor force integration goals, unemployment and dependency on welfare institutions among older workers still prevail, 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, reemployment barriers and work prospects. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 Russian-speaking (six women and six men) and 12 Turkish (six women and six men) unemployed aging immigrants living in Germany. The age of participants ranged between 50 and 65 years old. Data were analyzed with thematic coding. Findings: 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. Discussion: Public policy alternatives are discussed in relation to changing negative aging stereotypes concerning aging immigrants and promoting culturally-appropriate healthy aging intervention among such vulnerable groups.
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