PhD Candidate: Ms L. (Linda) van den Heijkant
Project description:


Policy reforms, such as raising the retirement age, have a profound impact on labor relations, are controversial and have stirred heated public debates. Changes in retirement age policy affect almost all employees now and in the future, and involve a wide network of stakeholders, such as public organizations, firms, political parties, labor unions, NGOs and interest groups, each with their own position in the debate.

This PhD project focuses on how intergenerational conflict is present in the media debate on raising the retirement age in the Netherlands. More specifically, it focuses on how ideas and opinions of various stakeholders about raising the retirement age are covered in news media, organizational media and social media. The project will rely on framing theory in order to provide an elaborate picture of the way in which the retirement age debate and (conflicts between) stakeholders of different generations are reflected in the media.

Methodologically, the project applies three different approaches that complement each other. Firstly, this project relies on (semi-)automated stakeholder and semantic co-word occurrence analysis to map the prominent stakeholders and sub-issues in the debate. The more in-depth content of the retirement age debate will be investigated by means of a manual content analysis. Lastly, using an experimental design, the project aims to investigate the consequences of the debate on intergenerational conflict.