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Flawed System/Flawed SelfJob Searching and Unemployment Experiences$
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Ofer Sharone

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226073361

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226073675.001.0001

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Job-Search Games and Unemployment Experiences

(p.165) Chapter Seven Conclusion
Flawed System/Flawed Self

Ofer Sharone

University of Chicago Press

Unemployment experiences are neither universal nor simple reflections of particular cultural or economic conditions. This book’s cross-national and cross-class comparisons reveal how different labor-market institutions give rise to different job-search games and how playing these games generates very different unemployment experiences. This concluding chapter presents a brief side-by-side comparison of the key elements of the chemistry and specs games to illuminate some of the mechanisms underlying the cross-national variations in unemployment experiences, with particular attention to the role of emotional labor and the extent to which job seekers perceive that their search strategies determine their search outcome. I then revisit the cross-class comparison and consider its implications for the role of institutions and culture in shaping unemployment experiences. Finally, I discuss the implications of this book for our understanding of unemployment and more broadly our understanding of the relationship between social structures, individual experiences, and the possibility of social change.

Keywords:   unemployment, job searching, emotional labor, games, labor-market institutions, self-blame, social change

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