The sociology of unemployment

Edited by Tom Boland and Ray Griffin

The sociology of unemployment


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9791-1
  • Pages: 264
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: July 2015
  • BIC Category: Poverty & Unemployment, Sociology, Sociology: work & labour, Sociology, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Labor & Industrial Relations, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General, Society & social sciences / Sociology: work & labour


The sociology of unemployment is an analysis of the experience and governance of unemployment. By considering unemployment as more than just the absence of work; the book explores unemployment as a distinctive experience created by the welfare state.

Each chapter explores an aspect of the experience or governance of unemployment; beginning with how people talk about their experience of being unemployed individually and collectively, to the places of unemployment, and on to the processes, policies and forms of the social welfare system. Clear explanations of classic theories are explored and extended, all against the backdrop of new primary research. Chapter by chapter, 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. As a result, the book is both an introductory text on the sociology of unemployment and a fresh, critical perspective.


1. Introduction - Tom Boland and Ray Griffin

Part I: Being unemployed
2. Talk: Nothing to be done - Tom Boland
3. Dialog: Focus groups with young and mature unemployed - Jennifer Yeager and Jonathon Culleton
4. City: Redundant workers, forgotten citizens? The case of Waterford Crystal - Josh Lalor
5. Places: Graceful living: The experience of unemployment and the built environment - John O'Brien
6. Rural: Beyond the deprivation theory: examining rural experience - Gordon B. Cooke, Deidre Hutchings, Jimmy Donaghey and Isik U. Zeytinoglu

Part II: Becoming unemployed
7. Forms: Up one: observations on decoding a form of unemployment - Ray Griffin
8. Spaces: Autoethnographies of Irish social welfare offices - Tom Boland and Ray Griffin
9. Job-seeking: Making a self for the labour market - Tom Boland
10. Experiencing activisation: Ireland's new pathway? - Tom Boland

Part III: Knowing unemployment
11. Media: Nothing to be said - Tom Boland, Rose Shearer and Aisling Tuite
12. Statistics: On the statistical composition of unemployment - Ray Griffin and John O'Brien


Tom Boland is Lecturer in Sociology at Waterford Institute of Technology

Ray Griffin is Lecturer in Strategy at Waterford Institute of Technology

The sociology of unemployment

Edited by Tom Boland, Ray Griffin

Paperback £17.99 / $26.95

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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