This small project uses mobile methodologies to understand retirement identities in a particular post-work context. The project’s post-work context is particular because it follows people who have spent their working lives doing mobile work: working in the transport industry for the London Underground. We explore post-work identities by collecting data on the embodied experiences of retirees’ when they return to their workplace through a ‘Hidden London’ tour that explores part of the disused London Underground network. We are interested in understanding the ways in which the sights, sounds, smells, and tactility of the spaces evokes particular sensory memories of working lives; and helps us understand the ways in which identities change or persist through retirement. We carried out walking interviews, followed by more static but in situ interviews in railway stations, with two men who had retired from the London Underground.

Following the interviews, comic strips (see below) were drawn by Eva Jew (University of Brighton). The comic strips represent some of the key features of our participants’ stories. The stories of our participants – Dan and John (pseudonyms) – illustrate the ways in which mobile work identities are pulled through, in different ways, from working lives to post-working lives. The comic strips also illuminate the non-linearity of working and post-working lives and the transformations and adaptations that take place along the undulating pathways of the life course.

Researchers:
Lesley Murray, University of Brighton

Jayne Raisborough, Leeds-Beckett University, UK

Funding:
ACT-SSHRC

Research Area:
Critical Mediations

ACT Partner:
University of Brighton


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