Arbetslöshet ekonomi och skam - om att vara arbetslös i dagens Sverige

Detta är en avhandling från School of Social Work, Box 23, SE-Lund

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this study has been to investigate the social consequences of unemployment and to give a possible interpretation of unemployment experiences through the application of the economy-shame model. It intends to put forward and show the significance of economic stress in combination with the feeling of shame as a factor important for the understanding of differences in unemploy-ment experiences. A significant feature for the appreciation of variations in unemployment experiences is the study of how the unemployed themselves experience and interpret their relation to others. In the study’s different articles, data from two questionnaire surveys and one based on interviews with 26 long-term unemployed persons has been used. In total, 2143 unemployed persons have been included in the data material. The results in the articles show that there seems to be a strong relationship between the combination of a high degree of economic stress with that of more experiences of shame and the incidence of serious (self-reported) ill-health when being unemployed. Unemployment related health problems were especially salient among those who during their unemployment had been exposed to a higher degree of economic stress and had more experiences of shame. Under the circumstances where economic stress was small or insignificant and the treatment from others was supportive, the occurrence of unemployment related health problems was low. Major economic difficulties seem to be a strong contributing factor to the emergence of controversies leading to deteriorating atmosphere in the family between adults (wife/husband) as well as the relation to teenage children. Experiences of shame affected the relation with the children more than the relation between the adults in the family. What seemed to overshadow the economic difficulties for several of the interviewees was the worry about not being able to cope on their own, to become dependent on social welfare benefits. The intensive feeling, which many expressed when talking about how important it was to be able to cope by themselves and to be independent, was something that did not come through in the quanti-tative studies. The stories seem to indicate a will to be free of dependence on the social authorities and from living on benefits – that it is shameful to be dependent.

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