Reversing the Negative Experience of Unemployment: A Mediating Role for Social Policies?

Sage, Daniel (2017) Reversing the Negative Experience of Unemployment: A Mediating Role for Social Policies? Social Policy and Administration. ISSN 1467-9515 DOI

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This paper examines why unemployment is often experienced in a profoundly negative way and explores the potentially mediating role of social policies. Three dominant theories of unemployment are described, which are often treated as competing, mutually exclusive explanations of the deleterious effects of unemployment. Subsequently, and through drawing upon a qualitative study of unemployed people, it is argued that all three theories are of worth and can be synthesized into a broader explanation of the experience of unemployment as an overarching process of loss. Three forms of loss are identified: loss of agency, loss of the functions of paid work and loss of social status. The paper then explores how these forms of loss can be both ameliorated and intensified through social policy interventions. Concluding, it offers policy recommendations to increase the efficacy of social policies in reversing the negative experience of unemployment, with the conclusion that this will require significant reform of the UK welfare state.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: unemployment; active labour market programmes; wellbeing; welfare-to-work; Work Programme.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Social Work and Social Policy and Administration
Date Deposited: 16 May 2017 15:55

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