Employment and Unemployment: A Social-Psychological Analysis

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CUP Archive, Nov 11, 1982 - Psychology - 111 pages
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This book was first published in 1982. Unemployment is perhaps one of the most serious social problems. In economic terms the cost of unemployment, both to the individual and to the collective, is extremely high. But unemployment has other effects too. In this book Marie Jahoda looks beyond the obvious economic consequences, to explore the psychological meaning of employment and unemployment. The book is an accessible and nontechnical account of the contribution which social psychology can make to understanding unemployment and clearly reveals the limitations of an exclusive concentration on its economic aspects. Professor Jahoda shows that the psychological impact is hugely destructive, throwing doubt on the popular diagnosis that the work ethic is disappearing. She also analyses the experience of unemployment in the context of the experience of employment and argues that one of the socially destructive consequences of large-scale unemployment is that it detracts from the need to humanise employment.
 

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Contents

Definitions and their implications
8
Social and psychological consequences of unemployment
15
Employment and unemployment in the nineteeneighties
33
Can employment be humanised?
62
Looking back and looking ahead
83
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About the author (1982)

Marie Jahoda, 1906 - 2001 Marie Jahoda was born in Vienna in 1906 and was brought up on the teachings of Freud and Young. She graduated from the University of Vienna with a doctorate in sociology and gained immediate recognition with a sociological study in Marienthal with Hans Zeisel and her first husband, Paul Lazarsfeld. The project consisted of measuring the psychological impact of unemployment in a hard working person. Jahoda was a Social Democrat who opposed the Austrian government and Hitler. When he annexed Austria, she was imprisoned but managed to escape to England. There she concentrated on issues such as unemployment and coal mine workers. She then traveled to the United States after World War II and did research for the American Jewish Committee and for Columbia University before going to work at N.Y.U, where she was a professor of social psychology and it's founding director of the Research Center for Human Relations. She worked at N.Y.U. from 1949 to 1958. She returned to Britain to work as a researcher and teacher at the University of Sussex until 1965 as well as attaining the level of emeritus professor during her tenure. Marie "Mitzie" Jahoda died on April 28 at her home in Keymar, England at the age of 94.