The “World of Labour” of Working Retirees:
Dilemmas and Meanings

Kaz M.S.

Dr. Sci. (Econ.), Prof., Department of Management and Marketing of Tomsk State University; Department of Economics Tomsk State University Control Systems and Radioelectronics, Tomsk, Russia

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250013853-1
ID of the Article: 8715

For citation:

Kaz M.S. The “World of Labour” of Working Retirees: Dilemmas and Meanings. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2021. No 7. P. 28-39


The article studies the features of the ideas of working retirees about the world of work. Their analysis and meaningful interpretation required a search for adequate methodological attitudes and methodical tools.It was shown that a distinction should be made between the traditional definitions in the field of labour problems and the more general concept of the “world of labour”. The study of the “world of labour” of working retirees allowed us to single out a number of categories that describe their perception of work and the advisability of completely or partially terminating it related with retirement. The source of data for the study were the messages of the participants of one of the most visited Internet forums of pensioners in the Russian-speaking segment. The multidimensional scaling method to the collected data made it possible to place them, without significant loss of information, in a space of lower dimension. It has been established that the “world of labour” of working retirees is well described by a number of key parameters identified in the research process. Their meaningful interpretation is carried out. The applicability of the trickster concept developed by Levi-Strauss to explain the “new role” of labour activity in the system of life priorities of a significant part of working retirees is discussed. The difference in the organization of the semantic sphere of working retirees and pensioners, who have exhausted or almost absent the resources of independence, has been investigated. The world of working retirees, as shown in the article, is an independent sphere of life, and therefore it requires specific approaches to the organization of work of this group of able-bodied population. The article discusses these issues as well.

work activity; retirement; cognitive-values approach; working retirees


Bauman Z. (2005) The Individualized Society. Moscow: Logos. (In Russ.)

Beehr T.A., & Bennett M.M. (2015). Working after retirement: Features of bridge employment and research directions. Work, Aging and Retirement. No. 1: 112–128.

Davison M.L. (1988) Multidimensional Scaling. Moscow: Finansy i statistika. (In Russ.)

Fasbender U., Deller J., Wang M., Wiernik B. M. (2014). Deciding whether to work after retirement: The role of psychological experience of aging. Journal of Vocational Behavior. No. 84: 215–224. DOI:10.1016/j.jvb.2014.01.006.

Fasbender U., Wang M., Voltmer J.-B., Deller J. (2016) The Meaning of Work for Post-retirement Employment Decisions. Work, Aging and Retirement. Vol. 2. No. 1: 12–23. DOI: 0.1093/workar/wav015.

Froidevaux A. (2018) A Life Design Perspective on the Work to Retirement Transition. In: by Cohen-Scali V., Rossier J., Nota L. (Eds) New Perspectives on Career Counseling and Guidance in Europe: Building Careers in Changing and Diverse Societies. Switzerland: Springer: 89–104.

Heidegger M. (1993) The Age of the World Picture. In: Time and Being: articles and speeches. Moscow: Respublika: 41–63. (In Russ.)

Hirschi A., Froidevaux A. (2019) Career counseling. In: Gunz H., Lazarova M., Mayrhofer W. (Eds.) The Routledge Companion to Career Studies. London: Routledge: 331–345. DOI: 10.4324/9781315674704.

Hjaltadottir I., Gustafsdottir M. (2007) Quality of Life in Nursing Homes: Perception of Physically Frail Elderly Residents. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences. No. 21: 48–55.

Kaz M.S. (2003) Dynamics of Economic Knowledge and Motivation to Work: Cognitive – Value Approach. Tomsk: TGU. (In Russ.)

Kaz M.S. (2005) Labor Motivation: Transformation of the Theoretical and Methodological Knowledge Structure and Cognitive and Value Approach. Voprosy Ekonomiki [Questions of Economic]. No. 12: 82–95. (In Russ.)

Kaz M.S. (2009) Why in Economic Researches the Cognitive Approach is Necessary? Voprosy Filosofii [Questions of Philosophy]. No. 4: 29–40. (In Russ.)

Kaz M.S. (2011) Sign and Value in Models of Labour Activity: From History of Things to History of Ideas. Voprosy Filosofii [Philosophy Issues]. No. 4: 41–52. (In Russ.)

Kozlova N.N. (1998) Vitality as a Socio-Philosophical Problem. Obshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost’ [Social sciences and modernity]. No. 2: 95–106. (In Russ.)

Krippendorff K. (2013) Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology. London: Sage Publications.

Lektorskij V.A. (2008) Philosophy and Research of Cognitive Processes. In: Cognitive Approach: Philosophy, Cognitive Science, Cognitive Disciplines. Moscow: Kanon+: 5–19. (In Russ.)

Lihachev D.S. Kontceptosfera of Russian language. Izvestiya RAN. Seriya literatury i yazyka [The Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Studies in Literature and Language]. Vol. 52. No. 1: 3–9. (In Russ.)

Miller G.A. (1951). Language and communication. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Mor-Barak M.E. (1995) The meaning of work for older adults seeking employment: The generativity factor. International Journal of Aging and Human Development. No. 41: 325–344.

Orlova U.L. (2015) Factors of Life Quality of Assisted Elderly People. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 10: 103–110. (In Russ.)

Ortega y Gasset J. (1997) Selected Writings. Moskow: Ves‘ Mir. (In Russ.)

Steger M.F., Dik B.J., Duffy R.D. (2012) Measuring meaningful work: The work and meaning inventory. Journal of Career Assessment. No. 20: 322–337. DOI: 10.1177/1069072711436160.

Stepanov Yu. (2004) Constants: Dictionary of Russian Culture. Moskow: Akadem. proekt. (In Russ.)

Templer A., Armstrong-Stassen M., Cattaneo J. (2010) Antecedents of older workers’ motives for continuing to work. Career Development International. No. 15: 479–500. DOI: 10.1108/13620431011075349.

Thomas S., Znaniecki F. (1918) The Polish Peasant in Europe and America.Vol.1. Boston: Badger.

Tolstova Yu.N. (2015) Mathematical Methods as Factors Linking Natural with Social and Humanitarian Sciences (Sociology). Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 10: 12–21. (In Russ.)

Wang M., Shultz K.S. (2010) Employee retirement: A review and recommendations for future investigation. Journal of Management. No. 36: 172–206. DOI: 10.1177/0149206309347957.

Znaniecki F. (1971) Nauki o kulturze. Warszawa: PWN

Content No 7, 2021