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Social existence is characterized by a variety of activities and occurrences in individuals’ lives. Such occurrences are characterized by experiences in individuals’ lives that can be viewed as either success or failure. Though people fail to perceive life in its broader perspective and on the contrary limit their personal evaluations on individual bases, there is an indisputable link between an individual’s experience and society.
The sociological imagination is the understanding of the relationship between an individual’s life experience and society. This paper seeks to discuss the topic of unemployment. The paper will look into unemployment and its relation to social aspects.
Unemployment is a common issue that has been facing people over time. Data records with respect to unemployment have over time been varying just like the reported data of newly created jobs in the United States. The annual unemployment rates from the year 1990 have, for example, registered up to over thirty-five million jobs being lost in one year. According to Stone and McCraw (2007), the year 2001 recorded the highest rates of unemployment with the year 1993 reporting the least. Though corresponding created job opportunities are reported to be consistent with the rate of job loss, there are fears that the nature of created jobs is not as secure as the jobs that are being compromised.
One of the causes of the job loss in the country is workers’ mobility that records the loss and the corresponding gains. There are also cases of workers being fired and even job losses and gains due to “companies startup, fail, downsize, upsize and filling of vacancies” (Stone & McCraw, 2007, p. 6) left by the mobility or the firing aspects. Unemployment is therefore a common experience among people in society.
Unemployment and its Social Impacts
Unemployment may arise under a wide range of circumstances such as loss of jobs due to an individual being fired or the employing entity facing strains into downsizing or closure. An individual can also be jobless after leaving college and prior to any employment attachment. The impacts of such unemployment are however the same and range from impacts being felt at a personal level as well as those that are felt at social levels. One of the impacts of unemployment that connects the unemployed individual with the social fraternity is the lost self-esteem that an individual suffers. This has a dual way perspective.
Low self-esteem can be driven from within the unemployed individual who might start self-isolation from peers who are employed and are financially stable. The peers might as well drive the isolation by looking down upon the unemployed individual and failing to offer social support. Loss of identity in social networks has also been identified to be an impact of unemployment. This can similarly be caused by the individual or the social group. There is also the effect of family breakdown due to instability induced by unemployment. A spouse can, for example, walk out of the marriage as a result of the induced financial strains (Aph, n.d.).
Unemployment can therefore be said to induce social consequences in an individual’s life. Unemployed individuals may have the feeling that they do not equal to those who are employed. These consequences can either be driven by the society or the individual thereby creating the link between individual experiences and society.
Aph. (n.d.). Consequences of unemployment. Web.
Stone, J & McCraw, J. (2007). Unemployment: The Shocking Truth of Its Causes, Its Outrageous Consequences and What Can Be Done About It. Victoria, Canada: Trafford Publishing.