Work Capacity of the Elderly: Assuming An-other Social Identity in the Contemporary World


This is a theoretical study on the work capacity of elderly people based on the Social Identity Theory—SIT. In that perspective, work capacity can be considered as the result of a dynamic process. It refers to the worker’s skills to execute professional activities according to the job requirements and his/her health condition. The SIT aims to highlight the existing impact on people’s behavior when they find themselves members of social categories and, therefore, it involves the operation of three psychological processes, which are: social categorization, social identification and social comparison. Thus, one can assume that society characterizes the elderly people as belonging to the retired group, and from a capitalist perspective, considers these people as unproductive. Their identity is linked to workers who are active in the job market; in addition, the chronological determinant of age does not impede elderly people from continuing in the job market. When elderly people are considered capable of developing their activities, whether professionally or not, and start to play new social roles, the start of the transformation in the conception of old age is perceived. In view of this panorama, a Conceptual Theoretical base is proposed, aiming to locate the phenomenon “work capacity” inside the aging process as this capacity is centered on the advanced activities of daily living.

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Ribeiro, J. , Santos, R. , Junior, D. , Pereira, D. , Silva, J. and Mendes, M. (2015) Work Capacity of the Elderly: Assuming An-other Social Identity in the Contemporary World. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 3, 24-32. doi: 10.4236/jss.2015.310004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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