Social Bonds and Coping Strategies of Unemployed People in Europe

Serge Paugam

Abstract


Experiencing unemployment, especially when it lasts longer than the legal period for receiving allowances, threatens the organic participation bond in post-industrial society as it raises questions, at least partially, about both the material and symbolic recognition of work and the social protection that stems from employment. The question is whether or not unemployment, goes together with a breakdown of the other types of bonds. the lineal bond (between parents and children), the elective participation bond (between people chosen based on affinities) and the citizenship bond (between individuals united by a core basis of rights and duties within a political community). If it does, we have to support the spiral hypothesis, if we look to the second, we are inclined to defend the compensation hypothesis (the break in the organic participation bond is compensated by the maintenance, even the strengthening, of the other types of bond). This  article is based on  in-depth interviews conducted with unemployed people from seven European Union countries (France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Romania and Ireland). It contributes to demonstrate that nemployment in a period of crisis increases the risk of a process of impoverishment and spiralling breaks in social bonds, but  it is also in particular in the Southern countries at the origin of a process of coping, based on forms of compensation. The lineal bond is in these countries a basic resource to compensate the break in the organic participation bond.

Keywords


unemployment; social bonds; coping strategies

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13136/isr.v6i1.122

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