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Durham e-Theses
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Working-class experiences of male unemployment in Darlington

Llewellyn, Trevor (1989) Working-class experiences of male unemployment in Darlington. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This research is focused upon variety in working-class experiences of unemployment» It explores how such variety may reflect differentiation within the working-class in employment opportunities in the context of recent economic change. Experiences of unemployment are examined with regard to the implications for standards of living, and domestic and social relations. Particular attention is paid to the degree and nature of deprivation associated with unemployment and the consequent fall in income. Finally, given the electoral victories of the Conservatives despite high levels of unemployment, this research asks if unemployment constitutes a central political issue for the working-class and whether any variation in attitude is discernible according to the labour market positions of different sections of the working-class. Interviews with twenty working-class households with varied employment histories are utilised to explore these issues. An important conclusion is that the unemployed do not constitute a homogeneous group nor is unemployment a uniform experience. For many of the unemployed the experience is likely to be a temporary one, though their subsequent employment is likely to be less favourable than previous jobs in terms of wage levels and working conditions. There is nevertheless a section of the workforce who experience long term unemployment, unskilled manual workers being particularly disadvantaged. This group is likely to be subject to considerable hardship as a consequence of dependency on social security benefits as a main source of income. Yet it is past employment experiences rather than those of unemployment which tend to shape attitudes both to domestic relations and a range of political issues, hence the value of the concept of career history. Significant differences according to experiences of unemployment did exist, however, in attitudes to government measures aimed directly at the unemployed, such as its income maintenance measures.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1989
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:46

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