Aldersgrænsen for førtidspension: - en diskursanalyse

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Mette Aahauge
4. semester, Socialt Arbejde, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
In January 2013 a new early retirement reform went into effect in Denmark. The reform followed a number of years in which an increasing number of early retirement applications were granted and, in turn, expenditure on early retirement increased. The largest increase took place among young people with psychiatric disorders and research had shown that upwards of a third of such granted early retirements could have been prevented by a reorganization of efforts to help this particular group.
As one of the reform's measures, the age limit for being granted early retirement has been raised from 18 to 40 years of age, the intention being for those under the age of 40 to instead partake in a resource process aimed at developing the ability to take on work with support.
An exception to the rules concerning the age limit, however, means that young people applying for early retirement must still be assessed based on the same criteria as those used for people over the age of 40 and, as a result, the group of citizens eligible for early retirement has not effectively been restricted.
Nevertheless, the way the age limit of the new reform has been launched has led to the widespread belief among stakeholders that youths would no longer be eligible for consideration of early retirement applications.
In light of the above, this thesis examines the articulation of the reform among political stakeholders, with a particular view to §16 of the reform. The thesis identifies the discourse employed by political stakeholders regarding this section and analyses the construction of said discourses. The aim of the thesis is to identify other possible articulations of §16 as well as to show how §16 was originally constructed, thereby demonstrating how the age limit of 40 years for early retirement applicants is first and foremost a result of political processes.
Norman Fairlclough's three-dimensional critical discourse analysis forms the theoretical and methodological basis for the thesis. The analysis identifies a number of discourses pertaining to the reform and the age limit, and, by way of an analysis of the ideological investments of said discourses, the interdiscursivity and the manifest intertextuality, demonstrates how these discourses have been constructed.

The analysis shows that discourses in the parliamentary assembly work to construct the 'truth' that fewer young people will be granted early retirement in the future as a result of the reform, not because the group of citizens in the reform has been restricted, but rather because it is expected that the reorganization of efforts undertaken as a result of the reform will develop competencies among the young and thus lead to more young people being able to undertake supported work in the future.
The thesis suggests that the influence of this discursive practice on social practice be studied once the reform has been fully implemented and the social implications of a diffuse discourse regarding the group of citizens eligible for early retirement can be examined.
Udgivelsesdatomar. 2014
Antal sider107
Udgivende institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 192358409