Gendered Pathways of Social Exclusion – A Life Course Perspective on Exclusion from Social Relations in Later Life, and its Consequences for Health and Wellbeing
University of Vienna, Austria
Social exclusion is a multifaceted social problem with substantial disruptive consequences for individuals and society, and exclusion from social relation is one aspect of this phenomenon. Lack of social relations can significantly influence health and wellbeing particularly in later life. Even though women are said to have more resilient social networks, older women in particular face serious difficulties in maintain them: They are more often frail, widowed, have lower levels of education, have more often disrupted working careers, lower pensions, and less economic resources, as well as care obligations for children, elders and partners, which all set limitations to social embeddedness. Recent research indicates a key role of the welfare state, as large variation exists in social exclusion and the varying impact of gender across European welfare states. However, little is known about how precisely social policy influences the construction and outcomes of social exclusion across the life course of women. The paper presents and discusses first findings from the European project “GENPATH”, in which gender differences in the prevalence and generation of exclusion from social relations across European countries, and consequences of this exclusion for health and wellbeing, are being analysed. The project follows a mixed-methods research design, including longitudinal analysis of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) as well as biographical interviews in eight European countries.
South Asian British Muslim women and their later working lives in Greater Manchester
Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
This study explores the perceptions and orientations of South Asian British Muslim older women in Greater Manchester towards wage work. Using transnational intersectional and life-course approach, the study also examines the extent to which these perceptions are shaped by culture, society and religion and the extent to which these are the results of their UK labour market experiences. It further scrutinises how they perceive labour market opportunities and challenges and understand their positions in the UK labour market as South Asian British Muslim women.
The study uses semi-structured interviews with South Asian British Muslim women living in Greater Manchester aged over 50 who are in low skilled occupations or unemployed/economically inactive, but, under pressure to find employment. This group is of particular importance because a key aspect of these women’s needs for more flexible employment conditions has been consistently undermined, forcing many of them to accept poorer working conditions, lower rates of pay and lower status jobs, or, retire early altogether which to a large extent, are the results of persistent occupational segregation in the labour market and non-linear career paths throughout their life courses. In addition, with the changes in state pension age, these women are also being expected to extend their working lives and it is crucial to understand how they re-think/plan their work/career following such changes which will help to make sense of how things will play out for the Greater Manchester labour market in the context of ageing population.
Key words: South Asian British women, older women, life-course, transnational intersectionality, gender (in)equality.