Journal of Population Ageing

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 43–65 | Cite as

The Enterprising Self: a Panacea for all or New Fictitious Social Role for Older Adults? The Analysis of European Polices for Senior Entrepreneurship

  • Justyna StypinskaEmail author


The purpose of the paper is to explore how policy narratives in European policy documents frame the image and role of a senior entrepreneur. This article includes a critical assessment of policy texts in two policy frameworks of European Union and OECD, namely: the active ageing framework and the inclusive entrepreneurship framework. The aim of this paper is to address two research questions: How is senior entrepreneurship framed in the European policies? What are the narratives of exclusion and inclusion construed in the European policies on senior entrepreneurship? Using the theoretical perspective of enterprising self and critical gerontology, the paper identifies two major narrations within which the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion operate: the hegemonic model of a senior entrepreneur and the economization of the model of senior entrepreneurship, with two sub-themes: the growth paradigm and the concept of entrepreneurial success. The recommendation for the future research and policy makers proposed in this paper is a more systematic development of life course sensitive policies with a more suitable mix of diverse approaches which would deescalate the existing inequalities.


Senior entrepreneurship Enterprising self Critical gerontology Inequalities Policy narratives 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Institute for East European StudiesFree University BerlinBerlinGermany

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