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The Experience of Unemployment in Ireland: A Thematic Analysis

  • Liam Delaney

    (Stirling University, UCD Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

  • Michael Egan

    (UCD Geary Institute)

  • Nicola O'Connell

    (UCD Geary Institute)

This paper reports on the results of 13 semi-structured focus groups carried out with unemployed respondents across Ireland in 2010. The purpose of the research is to examine the subjective experience of unemployment across a wide range of dimensions. 15 overarching themes emerged from a detailed thematic analysis of the texts of the interviews. The themes highlight a wide range of aversive psychological states associated with unemployment. The themes examine: perceptions of the economic boom; reactions to the recession; attitudes toward media coverage; gender differences in experiences of unemployment; financial worries relating to unemployment; perceptions of the position of young people; uncertainty about the future; lack of structure and routine associated with unemployment; health issues associated with unemployment; identity challenges; the social context of unemployment; issues surrounding reentering employment; attitudes toward social protection payments; social comparison effect and perceptions of training services. This paper concludes with a brief discussion of the psychological impact of unemployment.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201116.pdf
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Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201116.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 18 Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201116
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  1. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  2. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas Mueller, 2008. "Job Search and Unemployment Insurance: New Evidence from Time Use Data," Working Papers 1093, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  3. Bell, David N.F. & Blanchflower, David G., 2009. "What Should Be Done about Rising Unemployment in the UK?," IZA Discussion Papers 4040, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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