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UNEMPLOYMENT AND INFORMAL SUPPORT: DEPENDENCY, EXCLUSION, OR PARTICIPATION?

Lydia Morris and Sarah Irwin
Work, Employment & Society
Vol. 6, No. 2 (JUNE 1992), pp. 185-207
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23752245
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
UNEMPLOYMENT AND INFORMAL SUPPORT: DEPENDENCY, EXCLUSION, OR PARTICIPATION?
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Abstract

This paper reports on research carried out in Hartlepool, and is based on a comparison between four groupings; couples in which the man is long-term unemployed; couples in which the man is securely employed; couples in which the man was recently recruited to employment; and couples in which the man is out of the labour-force. The paper asks the question of to what extent the social polarization between households detected by Pahl and others, extends beyond household boundaries to kinship and friendship patterns. Whilst there is evidence of concentrations of unemployment both in kinship and friendship networks, the unemployed are not entirely confined to others without work in the exchange of mutual support. Three types of aid are considered: services, aid in kind, and financial aid. It is the last of these in which reliance on other unemployed people is greatest, and here kin are more highly represented than friends. This fact suggests the possibility of an attenuation of friendship with long-term unemployment, and points to limitations on the potential for development of a collective awareness.

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