Stay healthy, be active and work! - Motive analysis of policy proposals on old age



Wilinska M & Cedersund E (2011) Stay healthy, be active and work! - Motive analysis of policy proposals on old age. Language, Discourse and Society, 1 (1), pp. 55-79.

This article discusses the motives of ageing policies, based on two cases of national policy documents, from Sweden and Poland. The discourse analysis applied in this study follows the key principles of motive analysis. The main findings indicate that neither document is primarily concerned about older people and their well-being. People and their lives are secondary to the main focus of the analysed policy proposals. Ageing is feared in those documents, and imagined consequences of the population ageing are attenuated.This study offers an insight into discursive spaces of old age in Poland and Sweden. Furthermore, it presents motive analysis as a valuable method for studying ways of problematising social policy issues. The article draws attention to discourses that shape social policy and are reinforced by it. It also shows the process of enacting a precautionary principle in social policy that often leads to reductionist and simplistic perspectives that focus on only one aspect of a given phenomenon.

discourse; motive analysis; old age; social policy documents

Language, Discourse and Society: Volume 1, Issue 1

Publication date31/12/2011
PublisherLanguage and Society Research Committee 25 of the International Sociological Association
Publisher URL…1-december-2011/