Flawed System/flawed Self: Job Searching And Unemployment Experiences

Paperback | October 16, 2013

byOfer Sharone

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Today 4.7 million Americans have been unemployed for more than six months. In France more than ten percent of the working population is without work. In Israel it’s above seven percent. And in Greece and Spain, that number approaches thirty percent. Across the developed world, the experience of unemployment has become frighteningly common—and so are the seemingly endless tactics that job seekers employ in their quest for new work.

Flawed System/Flawed Self delves beneath these staggering numbers to explore the world of job searching and unemployment across class and nation. Through in-depth interviews and observations at job-search support organizations, Ofer Sharone reveals how different labor-market institutions give rise to job-search games like Israel’s résumé-based “spec games”—which are focused on presenting one’s skills to fit the job—and the “chemistry games” more common in the United States in which job seekers concentrate on presenting the person behind the résumé. By closely examining the specific day-to-day activities and strategies of searching for a job, Sharone develops a theory of the mechanisms that connect objective social structures and subjective experiences in this challenging environment and shows how these different structures can lead to very different experiences of unemployment.

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From the Publisher

Today 4.7 million Americans have been unemployed for more than six months. In France more than ten percent of the working population is without work. In Israel it’s above seven percent. And in Greece and Spain, that number approaches thirty percent. Across the developed world, the experience of unemployment has become frighteningly com...

Ofer Sharone teaches at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where he is assistant professor of work and employment relations. He lives in Lexington, MA.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:October 16, 2013Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022607353X

ISBN - 13:9780226073538

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1. Introduction: Unemployment Experiences
Chapter 2. The American Chemistry Game
Chapter 3. The Chemistry Game Experience and Self- Blame
Chapter 4. A Cross- National Comparison: The Israeli Specs Game
Chapter 5. The Specs Game Experience and System- Blame
Chapter 6. A Cross- Class Comparison: The Blue- Collar Diligence Game
Chapter 7. Conclusion: Job- Search Games and Unemployment Experiences

Appendix A: Methodology
Appendix B: Notes on Social Games

Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

Flawed System/Flawed Self is a strong contribution to scholarship on work and occupations, organizations, institutional analysis, and economic sociology . . .  The book’ s value transcends its academic worth, as it shows just how hard unemployed people must work to get a job.”