Hardest Times: The Trauma of Long Term Unemployment (Hardback)
  • Hardest Times: The Trauma of Long Term Unemployment (Hardback)
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Hardest Times: The Trauma of Long Term Unemployment (Hardback)

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£65.00
Hardback 328 Pages / Published: 30/12/2000
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Against the backdrop of a robust economy, hundreds of thousands of people in this country remain out of work for long periods of time, causing economic and psychological hardships for entire families. Hardest Times examines in depth what happens to men, and to their families, when they remain out of work for longer than six months, a period the government designates as long term unemployment. Cottle examines long term unemployment as a traumatic event, which creates in those who experience it conditions resembling symptoms of loss and post-trauma. Through the words of men who have experienced long term unemployment, he demonstrates that work is crucial to the formation of a man's identity, and that without work, many men often find no purpose for living. The in-depth studies that Cottle undertook reveal here why some men abandon their families or, in some instances, are driven to commit murder or suicide in the face of lingering unemployment. These often heart wrenching stories encourage readers to consider the implications of long term unemployment for the men who experience it, the families who endure it, and the society that tolerates it. Cottle's approach demonstrates that unemployment cannot be examined strictly in statistical terms, but that ultimately it must be explored in human terms, for it affects both the unemployed worker and his family. Instead of treating long term unemployment as simply another social problem, Cottle argues that it must be treated as a serious, often life-threatening, disorder, whose cure is clearly discernible. By reading the words of these men, the reader will understand how, even in this time of shifting gender roles, men in large measure still define themselves by the work they do, rather than the relationships that they cultivate. This unique approach to the problem of long term unemployment gives a human face to the problem and encourages readers to rethink the nature of working and not working and its special importance to men.

Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9780275969844
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 771 g
Dimensions: 235 x 165 x 32 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
..."this is an important contribution to the area of unemployment and work. The author is to be commended for bringing to our attention the stories and experiences of men who have too often been forgotten. Whereas unemployment is frequently discussed as a rate within the context of the overall economy. Hardest times makes abundantly clear the human costs that lie behind that rate. Perhaps the height of irony is that most of the men in this study would not even be counted in such a faceless statistic since they had long ago given up actively searching for work and, by government defintion, would no longer be considered unemployed."-Contemporary Sociology
"This emotionally wrenching work is a much-needed reminder of the need to attend to those who are marginalized, even in the "best" of times. All collections."-Choice
?This emotionally wrenching work is a much-needed reminder of the need to attend to those who are marginalized, even in the "best" of times. All collections.?-Choice
?...this is an important contribution to the area of unemployment and work. The author is to be commended for bringing to our attention the stories and experiences of men who have too often been forgotten. Whereas unemployment is frequently discussed as a rate within the context of the overall economy. Hardest times makes abundantly clear the human costs that lie behind that rate. Perhaps the height of irony is that most of the men in this study would not even be counted in such a faceless statistic since they had long ago given up actively searching for work and, by government defintion, would no longer be considered unemployed.?-Contemporary Sociology
.,."this is an important contribution to the area of unemployment and work. The author is to be commended for bringing to our attention the stories and experiences of men who have too often been forgotten. Whereas unemployment is frequently discussed as a rate within the context of the overall economy. Hardest times makes abundantly clear the human costs that lie behind that rate. Perhaps the height of irony is that most of the men in this study would not even be counted in such a faceless statistic since they had long ago given up actively searching for work and, by government defintion, would no longer be considered unemployed."-Contemporary Sociology
"Cottle's writing is unsparing, tough and insightful.... To my way of thinking this is his best and most mature work. Hardest Times is a major contribution to our understanding of men, of work, and of the shattering trauma that men experience when work is denied."-Robert Melson Professor Political Science Department Purdue University
"Tom's work brings us face to face with the lived reality of poverty and unemployment. In the midst of our current, and surely short-lived, celebration of unprecedented prosperity, we need to hear the voices Tom Cottle has recorded, if only to be better prepared for the travails that await us."-Jan Dizard Charles Hamilton Houston Professor of American Culture Amherst College
"The manuscript provides an insightful and sensitive account of the social and psychological consequences of unemployment, particularly during the longest economic expansion in the history of the United States, reaffirms Cottle's position as one of the more astute observers of and commentators on the poignant experiences of ordinary individuals."-Oliver Holmes Professor of Intellectual History Wesleyan University
"As usual, Cottle writes with an artist's skill, a social scientist's psychological and social consciousness. He is a wonderful story-teller; he catches life's subtleties, nuances, daily, hum-drum drama. He also is a skilled and thoughtful interviewer, observer, psychological analyst. He is doing important, revealing, original, and scholarly work, and doing it in a most unusual and brilliant manner."-Robert Coles James Agee Professor of Social Ethics Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Humanities Harvard University
"The [book] has Cottle's usual ability to make real to a reader the subjective experiences of his respondents. It displays, too, his ability to use psychological theory to deepen the discussion so that the reader can understand why his respondents respond as they do. Cottle has always written evocatively and well, but here he has an issue about which he feels passionately, and that makes him write especially vivid. He gives voice to men and whom he has come to care about."-Robert Weiss Emeritus Professor Department of Sociology University of Massachusetts Boston
"Tom Cottle's newest book Hardest Times...brings something new and significant to our understanding of the problems of long term unemployment. Cottle's trenchant and penetrating portraits of unemployed men alone are worth examining as only researchers like Robert Coles, Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, Oscar Lewis and Jonathan Kozol present material in such compelling, poignant and vivid fashion.... Additionally, these portraits coupled with Cottle's enlightening and provocative theoretical analysis will make Hardest Times a notable book that will take its place among the most significant contributions to the literature on the sociology and psychology of work, male identity, bereavement and trauma."-Gerald M. Platt Professor of Sociology University of Massachusetts Amherst

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