Simpson, M. & Cheney, G. (2007). Marketization, participation and communication within New Zealand retirement villages: a critical-rhetorical and discursive analysis. Discourse and Communication, 1(2), 191-222.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/1909
The retirement village sector1 is one part of the increasingly marketized `aged-care' services in New Zealand and in many other parts of the industrialized world. While critical researchers have examined organizational and residents' representations of aging, retirement, and retirement communities in the context of `the market', there is no research that examines communication related to residents' enactment of participation within these settings with respect to these processes of marketization. We aim to refine, complicate, and extend what we might call `the marketization thesis' through this study that examines resident participation within retirement communities. This essay is based on a comparative examination of two major New Zealand retirement community organizations. The rhetorical and critical discourse analysis reveals the complexity of what `participation' means for the residents within the context of an institution that is in transition from a medicalized to a marketized model of service delivery. Through a close examination of these meanings, we offer new insights into issues of individual action and freedom within the frame of a market-driven and avowedly `customer-centred' organization and consequently suggest a reconsideration of participation in organizations in which clients are also `insiders'.
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