What place should we give to the retired?

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Sociologist ; Researcher; associate, ‘Éthique‚ politique et santé’ (‘Ethics, politics and health’) team, Université Paris Descartes


Engineering student, Ecole des mines, co-author, ‘Les Retraités‚ oubliés et inutiles ?

Pierre-Étienne GIRARDOT

Engineering student, Ecole des mines, co-author, ‘Les Retraités‚ oubliés et inutiles ?

Dominique THIERRY

Honorary president, France Bénévolat

Seminar Guest speakers | Monday December 7, 2015 - 19h00 - 21h15

Since the end of the Second World War, a major revolution has been brewing. The increase in life expectancy and the decrease in the retirement age have slowly created a new social class: the retired. They represent nearly one quarter of the French population, but it would appear as if they scarcely count at all. Retirement is seen to be a problem. It is associated with dependency and a bottomless pit of public spending, or, on the other hand, the exploitation of pensioners’ purchasing power. Our ageist and consumer-oriented society projects a morbid and reductionist view of the older generation. Two French politicians, Michèle Delaunay and Rama Yade, advocated a form of national civic service for the elderly. In so doing, they realised that something had to be done for the elderly population which should be given a rightful place in society. Apart from establishing a ‘senior’ civic service (which sparked an outcry among people involved in voluntary associations), the solution lies in involving the retired population in activities which enable them to rebuild their identity and at the same time contribute to social life. How does one find activities which are in accordance with their abilities and also their new-found taste for freedom after years in the workplace? 

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