Deterritorialized careers, ageing and the life course

Devadason, R and McKechnie, R (2022) 'Deterritorialized careers, ageing and the life course.' Mobilities, 17 (4). pp. 529-544. ISSN 1745-0101

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The pursuit of a deterritorialised career profoundly influences how the life course unfolds. In this article, we examine how geographical mobility within global organizations influence the stages and transitions that make up the adult life course. Drawing on a British Academy funded study, we have analysed the biographies of corporate executives and UN-professionals at different stages of their careers and life course. The ways that these transnational actors interpret their past, present and future at different stages of the life course – early adulthood, middle-age and approaching retirement – sheds light on the relationship between deterritorialized work practices, ageing and significant life transitions. We argue that deterritorialized careers promote a compartmentalised approach to life whereby each ‘compartment’ – employment, relationships, family, and home – poses a distinct set of logistical problems to be solved and requires significant reflexive capabilities. Since the responsibility for reconciling these discrete compartments across time and space is individualised, ‘windows’ of heightened mobility create immediate and long-term challenges for transnational actors that can be cumulative rather than resolving over time. Thus, an initial decision to pursue a deterritorialized career can have repercussions that are not only immediate but shape successive stages and transitions of the life course.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: transnational professionals, life course, ageing, careers, UN-professionals, corporate executives
Divisions: School of Sciences
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Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2022 16:24
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2022 14:21
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