Job-Search Games and Unemployment Experiences
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.
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