While joblessness is by no means a phenomenon specific to this century, the concept of 'unemployment' is. This book follows the invention and transformation of unemployment, understood as a historically specific site of regulation. Taking key aspects of the history of unemployment in Britain as its focus, it argues that the ways in which authorities have defined and sought to manage the jobless have been remarkably varied. In tracing some of the different constructions of unemployment over the last 100 years - as a problem of 'character', as a social 'risk', or today, as a problem of 'skills' - the study highlights the discursive dimension of social and economic policy problems. The book examines such institutionalized practices as the labour bureau, unemployment insurance, and the 'New Deal' as 'technologies' of power. The result is a challenge to our thinking about welfare states.
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(228mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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