"Coping with Unemployment: Self-Concept Repair by Displaced Managers and Professionals"

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Title: "Coping with Unemployment: Self-Concept Repair by Displaced Managers and Professionals"
Author: Garrett-Peters, Raymond
Advisors: Ron Czaja, Committee Member
Maxine Thompson, Committee Member
Michael Schwalbe, Committee Chair
Abstract: Research on unemployment among managers and professionals has documented the experience of job loss as stressful not only because of economic strain, but because of the damage it does to valued identities and self-conceptions. Little research, however, has examined the processes through which displaced workers collectively attempt to repair this damage. Data from participant observation in four support groups for displaced managers and professionals, plus intensive interviews with twenty-two group members, are used to develop an analysis of the self-concept repair strategies used by these relatively privileged workers. Four main strategies are identified: (a) redefining the meaning of unemployment; (b) realizing accomplishment; (c) restructuring time and activities; and (d) helping others. These strategies are argued to be oriented toward bolstering feelings of self-efficacy damaged by job loss and prolonged unemployment. The analysis shows how these self-concept repair strategies depended upon resources not readily available to blue-collar workers. Also considered are the implications of these strategies for the reproduction of class advantage and for the political mobilization of professional/managerial workers in response to recession and mass unemployment.
Date: 2005-12-28
Degree: MS
Discipline: Sociology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/509

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