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Sociology of Unemployment (Hardcover)

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Unemployment is not just the absence of work; it is a distinctive experience created by the welfare state. The sociology of unemployment challenges the 'deprivation theory of unemployment' which dominates sociology, psychology and social policy, by focusing on how governmental power forms the experience of unemployment. Governmentality theory is the key perspective, integrating subjective experience and state intervention into a single analysis, and, furthermore, pointing out that unemployment could be governed differently. The sociology of unemployment is both an introductory text on the sociology of unemployment and a fresh critical perspective. It will interest students of sociology and related disciplines, from undergraduates to post-graduates and academics interested in unemployment and governmentality, and equally relevant to journalists, civil servants, politicians and activists.The book has three sections: Firstly, the experience of unemployed is considered at length, exploring how people narrate their experience of unemployment individually and collectively, the impact of the demise of a large city employer, unemployment blackspots and the qualitatively different experience of rural unemployment. Secondly, the government of unemployment is analysed, including application forms, welfare offices, advice on job-seeking and activisation schemes. These combine to reveal that unemployment is deliberately constructed as a time of transition, so that the only worthwhile and meaningful activity of the unemployed is seeking work. Finally the book explores aggregated knowledge about unemployment by examining print media representations of unemployment and the production of statistical knowledge about unemployment. These representations obscure the actual experience of unemployment and the changing ways in which it is governed.
Unemployment is not just the absence of work; it is a distinctive experience created by the welfare state. The sociology of unemployment challenges the 'deprivation theory of unemployment' which dominates sociology, psychology and social policy, by focusing on how governmental power forms the experience of unemployment. Governmentality theory is the key perspective, integrating subjective experience and state intervention into a single analysis, and, furthermore, pointing out that unemployment could be governed differently.

The sociology of unemployment is both an introductory text on the sociology of unemployment and a fresh critical perspective. It will interest students of sociology and related disciplines, from undergraduates to post-graduates and academics interested in unemployment and governmentality, and equally relevant to journalists, civil servants, politicians and activists.

The book has three sections:

Firstly, the experience of unemployed is considered at length, exploring how people narrate their experience of unemployment individually and collectively, the impact of the demise of a large city employer, unemployment blackspots and the qualitatively different experience of rural unemployment.

Secondly, the government of unemployment is analysed, including application forms, welfare offices, advice on job-seeking and activisation schemes. These combine to reveal that unemployment is deliberately constructed as a time of transition, so that the only worthwhile and meaningful activity of the unemployed is seeking work.

Finally the book explores aggregated knowledge about unemployment by examining print media representations of unemployment and the production of statistical knowledge about unemployment. These representations obscure the actual experience of unemployment and the changing ways in which it is governed.
Number of Pages: 245
Genre: Social Science
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Manchester Univ Pr
Language: English
Street Date: September 1, 2015
TCIN: 23947395
UPC: 9780719097904
Item Number (DPCI): 247-49-9890

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