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Job loss and its aftermath among managers and professionals: Wounded, fragmented and flexible

Job loss and its aftermath among managers and professionals: Wounded, fragmented and flexible

Gabriel, Yiannis, Gray, David E. ORCID: 0000-0002-3881-5083 and Goregaokar, Harshita (2013) Job loss and its aftermath among managers and professionals: Wounded, fragmented and flexible. Work, Employment and Society, 27 (1). pp. 56-72. ISSN 0950-0170 (Print), 1469-8722 (Online) (doi:10.1177/0950017012460326)

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Abstract

Based on longitudinal fieldwork with unemployed managers and professionals in their 50s, the article examines the meaning of job loss to these people and charts their subsequent efforts to restore their lives. The article identifies core similarities in their experiences and discerns different narrative strategies through which they have tried to make sense of their dismissal and sustain their selfhood. For all, job loss was a considerable trauma leading to a fragmentation of identity; this was compounded by subsequent rejection and perceived discrimination. Few were able to resume their earlier careers; the majority had to adjust their expectations downwards and opt for either virtual deskilling in less well paid and less demanding jobs or for an assortment of part-time, casual and voluntary work. Best ‘adapted’ (and least fragmented) were those who were prepared to forsake hopes of a return to highpowered jobs and display flexibility, resourcefulness and opportunism in adapting to their reduced circumstances.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] First published online: 12 February 2013. [2] Published in print: February 2013. [3] Published as: Work, Employment & Society, (2013), Vol. 27, (1), pp. 56-72. [4] Work, Employment & Society is a journal of the British Sociological Association.
Uncontrolled Keywords: flexibility, job loss, narratives, professionals, storytelling, trauma, unemployment
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Work & Employment Research Unit
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:23
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/9283

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