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The experience of unemployment of social assistance recipients Klein, Hal 1989

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THE EXPERIENCE OF UNEMPLOYMENT OF SOCIAL ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS By Hal K l e i n B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of Winnipeg, 1979 Diploma i n Education, M c G i l l U n i v e r s i t y , 1980 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1989 © Hal K l e i n , 1989 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date S^flt. *>Q; 19 ^ 9 DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT An e x p l o r a t o r y study was conducted to d i s c o v e r s i g n i f i c a n t events and the f e e l i n g s attached to these events d u r i n g the experience of unemployment of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s . Twenty s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s were interviewed. The s u b j e c t s ranged i n age from 25 t o 44 and there were 11 females and 9 males. The p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l / c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t methodology adapted by Borgen and Amundson (1984) was used. I t was found t h a t t h i s group had an unemployment experience that c o u l d be best d e s c r i b e d as a " f l a t " experience with r e l a t i v e l y few highs and a c o n t i n u a l , p e r v a s i v e s t r i n g of lows. The most prominent c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t was f i n a n c i a l pressures and t h i s f a c t o r seemed to dominate the experience of the great m a j o r i t y of respondents. T h e i r experience was c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a c o n t i n u a l s t r u g g l e t o f i n a n c i a l l y meet s u r v i v a l needs, pessimism around job search, low s e l f esteem and a b a t t e r y of negative f e e l i n g s around being on w e l f a r e . The r e s u l t s of t h i s study w i l l h o p e f u l l y a s s i s t c o u n s e l l o r s i n understanding the experience of unemployment of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s and lead to more e f f e c t i v e t h e r a p e u t i c i n t e r v e n t i o n s f o r t h i s p o p u l a t i o n . i i Table of contents A b s t r a c t L i s t of Tables Acknowledgements Chapter I I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 Chapter II L i t e r a t u r e Review 5 1. Reactions t o Unemployment 5 2. Stage Models of Experience of Unemployment 8 3. F a c t o r s Moderating the E f f e c t s of Unemployment 11 4. Unemployment and Human Needs 13 5. Stigma of S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e 16 6. Summary 18 Chapter I I I Methodology 20 1. Subjects 20 2. Meth o d o l o g i c a l Approach 21 3. Interview Questions 26 4. The In t e r v i e w 28 5. Data A n a l y s i s 29 6. V a l i d i t y Check 30 Chapter IV R e s u l t s and D i s c u s s i o n 31 1. R e l i a b i l i t y and V a l i d i t y 31 2. C r i t i c a l I n c i d ent A n a l y s i s 32 3. Summary of the Experience 58 Chapter V Summary and Con c l u s i o n 60 1. T h e o r e t i c a l I m p l i c a t i o n s 60 2. I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r C o u n s e l l i n g 66 3. L i m i t a t i o n s of the Study 70 4. I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Fu r t h e r Research 72 Chapter VI References 74 Appendix 83 i i i L i s t of Tables 1. Demographic Information 23 2. Rank Order Summary of Negatives C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t s 33 3. Rank Order Summary of P o s i t i v e C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t s 35 iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would f i r s t l y l i k e to thank Dr. Norman Amundson and Dr. W i l l i a m Borgen f o r t h e i r encouragement, advise and support throughout the w r i t i n g of t h i s t h e s i s . I would a l s o l i k e to thank Dr. L a r r y Cochran f o r h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n on the t h e s i s committee. I would a l s o l i k e to acknowldege the c o n t r i b u t i o n of K a r i n Rasmussen, who p a t i e n t l y typed the manuscript without u t t e r i n g a s i n g l e word of complaint ( i n L a t i n ) . Thanks a l s o to M a r i l y n C h r y s t a l , Jan MacLellan and Michael Warsh f o r t h e i r help i n the completion of t h i s study. F i n a l l y , I would l i k e to thank my wife Amy f o r her love and support throughout my graduate s t u d i e s . v CHAPTER I I n t r o d u c t i o n In r e c e n t years, the need f o r employment c o u n s e l l i n g has i n c r e a s e d . In 1982, Canada's annual average unemployment r a t e s reached the h i g h e s t recorded f i g u r e s i n c e 1938-39 (Deaton, 1983). More recent f i g u r e s ( K a p s a l i s , 1988) demonstrate t h a t i n 1988, B r i t i s h Columbia had the second h i g h e s t "unemployment vacancy" gap i n Canada as i t s unemployment r a t e (12.0%) exceeded i t s job vacancy r a t e (2.9%) by 9.1 percentage p o i n t s . In examining t h i s phenomenon, i t i s important to c o n s i d e r the f u l l impact of unemployment on the l i v e s of those who experience i t . K i r s h (1983) d i s c u s s e d the s o c i a l stigma s u f f e r e d by the unemployed i n Canada where a number of negative myths and s t e r e o t y p e s e x i s t p e r t a i n i n g to the unemployed. These myths and s t e r e o t y p e s i n c l u d e t y p i f y i n g the unemployed as too l a z y to work, too u n r e l i a b l e t o hold steady jobs or as d i s h o n e s t i n d i v i d u a l s who are c h e a t i n g the system a t the taxpayers expense. The s o c i a l stigma experienced by the unemployed goes beyond these negative s t e r e o t y p e s . As K e l v i n and J a r r e t t (1985) pointed out. Western s o c i e t y ' s socio-economic s t r u c t u r e i s predominantly (1) d e f i n e d i n terms of i t s d i v i s i o n of labour. As a r e s u l t , the unemployed are d e f i n e d i n i n h e r e n t l y negative terms, namely by what they are not as opposed to what they a r e . The authors a l s o pointed out t h a t the s i t u a t i o n can be worsened by the assumption that the unemployed i n d i v i d u a l ' s s t a t u s i s merely temporary, and that he/she w i l l soon resume an i d e n t i f i a b l e r o l e i n s o c i e t y . One p o p u l a t i o n f o r whom unemployment i s o f t e n more permanent i n nature i s s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s . As t h i s study dea l s with the unemployment experience of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s , one must c o n s i d e r the f a c t t h a t many of these i n d i v i d u a l s have been unemployed for an extended p e r i o d of time. T h i s dynamic can impact t h e i r experience i n a number of ways. For example, the common assumption t h a t unemployment i s merely an " i n t e r m i s s i o n between j o b s " can be a source of disappointment, shame and f r u s t r a t i o n f o r those i n d i v i d u a l s caught i n long term and/or c h r o n i c unemployment. F u r t h e r , the longer people have been unemployed and on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e , the more d i s t a n t t h e i r l a s t work experience can seem. As a r e s u l t , t h e i r l e v e l s of s e l f esteem and confidence as w e l l as t h e i r sense of i d e n t i t y may be a d v e r s e l y a f f e c t e d by prolonged unemployment. T h i s can be e s p e c i a l l y t r u e f o r s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s whose lack of job search s k i l l s , v o c a t i o n a l t r a i n i n g and/or work experience lead them t o doubt i f , i n f a c t , they w i l l ever become permanent members of the work f o r c e . (2) The author of t h i s study has worked i n the area of employment and job placement c o u n s e l l i n g of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s f o r the past s e v e r a l years. T h i s t a r g e t group has proved to be u n i q u e l y c h a l l e n g i n g and rewarding i n t h a t t h e i r b a r r i e r s to employment have f r e q u e n t l y been more profound than those of the more r e c e n t l y unemployed. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , i n d i v i d u a l s from t h i s t a r g e t group have f r e q u e n t l y presented d i f f i c u l t i e s i n the areas of v o c a t i o n a l goal s e t t i n g , s e l f esteem, d e a l i n g with a u t h o r i t y , f i n a n c i a l management, locus of c o n t r o l , " f r u s t r a t i o n t h r e s h o l d " and job search s k i l l s . At the same time, many of these i n d i v i d u a l s have presented themselves as being very motivated to become independent of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e and have expressed a p e r c e p t i o n that t h e i r l i v e s would be g r e a t l y enriched by s e c u r i n g employment. I t has thus been the challenge of t h i s author as w e l l as many others i n the f i e l d to develop and provide s e r v i c e s t h a t can enable s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s to seek, secure and r e t a i n employment. C l e a r l y , a g r e a t e r understanding of how these i n d i v i d u a l s experience unemployment can enhance the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of both employment t r a i n i n g programs and of a v a r i e t y of c o u n s e l l o r s or c o u n s e l l i n g programs devoted to s e r v i c i n g the needs of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s . T h i s t h e s i s has a p p l i e d a research methodology that was developed by Borgen and Amundson (1984). T h i s methodology has proven s u c c e s s f u l i n g a i n i n g knowledge r e g a r d i n g the experience (3) of unemployment of other groups such as immigrants (Borgen and Amundson, 1984), youth (Borgen and Amundson, 1984) and u n i v e r s i t y graduates (Harder, 1986). I t i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y based on a combined phenomenological and c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t approach and u t i l i z e s in-depth i n t e r i v e w s to e l i c i t r e p o r t s of f a c i l i t a t i n g and h i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s from the s u b j e c t s ' viewpoint. A c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t technique i s used to analyse the data generated by the in-depth i n t e r v i e w s . The s u b j e c t s interviewed f o r t h i s study were s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s t h at were e n t e r i n g an employment t r a i n i n g program. Because the government departments funding t h i s program were i n t e r e s t e d i n h e l p i n g "middle aged" job seekers i n t h e i r "prime working years", each p a r t i c i p a n t was 25-44 years of age. By using an in-depth, q u a l i t a t i v e , c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t techniques, a number of i n s i g h t s were gained r e g a r d i n g the experience of unemployment of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s . I t i s hoped that these i n s i g h t s w i l l both c o n t r i b u t e to our understanding of t h i s group's experience and a s s i s t c o u n s e l l o r s who are i n a p o s i t i o n to enhance the p h y s i c a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l - b e i n g of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s . (4) CHAPTER 11 L i t e r a t u r e Review Much of the l i t e r a t u r e devoted to the study of unemployment examines the areas of r e a c t i o n s t o unemployment, moderating f a c t o r s , g e n e r a l i z e d p o p u l a t i o n models and the r e l a t i o n s h i p between unemployment and human needs. In the area of the experience of being on welfare, the m a j o r i t y of l i t e r a t u r e i s devoted to the stigma of w e l f a r e . Reactions To Unemployment A number of books and a r t i c l e s have been p u b l i s h e d p e r t a i n i n g to the e f f e c t s of unemployment on a v a r i e t y of groups. Feather and Bond (1983), f o r example, found t h a t unemployed u n i v e r s i t y graduates spend t h e i r time i n a l e s s organized, l e s s p u r p o s e f u l manner than employed u n i v e r s i t y graduates. T h i s f i n d i n g has f a r reaching i m p l i c a t i o n s as, a c c o r d i n g to the authors, there i s a p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n between p u r p o s e f u l use of time and higher s e l f esteem and absence of d e p r e s s i v e symptoms. F u r t h e r , Tiggemann and W i n e f i e l d (1984) found t h a t unemployed s u b j e c t s scored lower on s e l f esteem s c a l e s and higher on d e p r e s s i v e a f f e c t than the employed s u b j e c t s . (5) The theme of unemployment a d v e r s e l y a f f e c t i n g the i n d i v i d u a l ' s l e v e l of s e l f esteem and d e p r e s s i o n i s present i n a number of s t u d i e s B e r n s t e i n (1985), Fagi n and L i t t l e (1983), Jahoda (1982), K e l v i n and J a n e t t (1985), and M c C a r r o l l (1984) a l l reported the d e v a s t a t i n g e f f e c t s t h a t unemployment can have on the i n d i v i d u a l ' s s e l f concept and morale. H a r t l e y (1980) conducted i n t e n s i v e i n t e r v i e w s with twenty s i x unemployed managers and found that s i x s u b j e c t s had low s e l f esteem, e i g h t had d e f e n s i v e l y high s e l f esteem and e i g h t had i n t e r m i t t e n t l y reduced s e l f esteem. Fagin and L i t t l e (1982) r e p o r t e d t h a t the aforementioned r e a c t i o n s seemed p a r t i c u l a r l y prominent among male breadwinners. They r e p o r t e d t h a t these i n d i v i d u a l s tended to blame themselves e x c e s s i v e l y f o r t h e i r job l o s s and i n a b l i t y to gain employment. These men were f u r t h e r n e g a t i v e l y impacted as they found t h e i r "inadequacy" confirmed by t h e i r f a m i l y experiences wherein, "many wives, a f t e r months of u s e l e s s job s e a r c h . . . began to reproach t h e i r p a r t n e r s , i m p l i c i t l y or e x p l i c i t l y , f o r t h e i r circumstances." (Page 51). In another study (Komarovsky,1971), a number of c o n c l u s i o n s were reached regarding the e f f e c t s of unemployment on the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the unemployed man and h i s f a m i l y . Included i n the found e f f e c t s were a decrease i n frequency of sexual r e l a t i o n s , a d e t e r i o r a t i o n i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s between f a t h e r s and t h e i r adolescent c h i l d r e n , a " l o s s of s t a t u s " (6) r e s u l t i n g from a l o s s of earnings and f a i l u r e to provide f o r the f a m i l y i n the manner t o which they had become accustomed and a decrease i n the husband's t o l e r a n c e of other f a m i l y members. Although i t was found t h a t there was an increase i n the g u a n t i t y of time men spent with t h e i r younger c h i l d r e n , there were few cases where an i n c r e a s e i n the q u a l i t y of time spent together was r e p o r t e d . Brathwaite (1983) a l s o reported unemployment as having adverse e f f e c t s upon f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s and found t h a t many s u b j e c t s were concerned t h a t those around them percieved them as l a z y . S t u d i e s have pointed to unemployment as having d e t r i m e n t a l e f f e c t s on s o c i a l l i v e s . K i r s h (1983) reported that "job l o s s o f t e n weakens people's support systems, j u s t at a time when they most need reassurance and a sense of belonging". (p.47). Macky and Haines (1982) found an i n c r e a s e of " n o n - s o c i a l " a c t i v i t i e s such as T.V. s a t c h i n g , l i s t e n i n g to the r a d i o and daytime s l e e p i n g . M c C a r r o l l (1984) a l s o reported the tendency of the unemployed to i n t e r a c t l e s s with others as they become more preoccupied with t h e i r own circumstances. Given the aforementioned r e a c t i o n s to unemployment, i t i s h a r d l y s u r p r i s i n g t h a t the same author (Kirsh,1983) reported number of adverse p h y s i c a l symptoms as a r e s u l t of unemployment. These symptoms i n c l u d e f a t i g u e , weight l o s s , insomnia and f a i n t i n g s p e l l s . B e r n s t e i n (1985) a l s o pointed to unemployment's (7) negative e f f e c t s on both p h y s i c a l and mental h e a l t h and Fagin and L i t t l e (1982) s t a t e d t h a t unemployment can have adverse e f f e c t s upon the p h y s i c a l h e a l t h of i n d i v i d u a l s and t h e i r f a m i l i e s . Liem and Rayman (1984) concluded i n t h e i r study t h a t the mental h e a l t h d i f f i c u l t i e s encountered by the unemployed are s u f f i c i e n t l y profound and d i s t i n c t t h a t t r a d i t i o n a l h e a l t h s e r v i c e s do not adequately meet t h e i r needs. Stage Models Of The Experience Of Unemployment In d i s c u s s i n g the experience of employment, a number of authors have suggested models t h a t may r e p r e s e n t the " u n i v e r s a l " or group s p e c i f i c experience of unemployment. Hepworth (1980) summarized the experience as comprising of four general stages: shock, optimism, pessismism and f a t a l i s m . Powell and D r i s c o l l (1973) presented the experience of unemployed p r o f e s s i o n a l s i n four s t a g e s : 1) r e l a x a t i o n and r e l i e f 2) concerted e f f o r t 3) v a c i l l a t i o n and doubt and 4) malaise and c y n i c i s m . One area of p o s s i b l e d i s t i n c t i o n between the experience of unemployment of p r o f e s s i o n a l s and of c l i e n t s on S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e i s Powell & D r i s c o l l ' s f i r s t stage of " r e l a x a t i o n and r e l i e f " . Because of the s o c i a l , f a m i l y and economic pressures t h a t S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s are t y p i c a l l y faced with, i t seems more l i k e l y t h a t t h e i r f i r s t stage of unemployment experience would (8) resemble Hopson and Adams (1976) f i r s t stage of " i m r a o b l i l i z a t i o n " or Amundson and Borgen's (1982) i n i t i a l stage of " d e n i a l " . In t h i s o r i g i n a l model, Amundson and Borgen (1982) r e l i e d p r i m a r i l y on the l i t e r a t u r e i n the areas of g r i e v i n g and job r e l a t e d s t r e s s r e a c t i o n s . The most widely known model of the stages of g r i e v i n g i s the model developed by Kubler-Ross (1969) which i n c l u d e s the stages of d e n i a l , anger, b a r g a i n i n g , d e p r e s s i o n and acceptance. I t i s worth n o t i n g that Kubler-Ross s t a t e d t h a t d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s would experience these stages i n d i f f e r e n t seguences and with d i f f e r i n g l e v e l s of i n t e n s i t y . Operating with the assumption t h a t a job search would have s i m i l a r dynamics to an a c t u a l job, Amundson and Borgen (1982) r e p o r t t h a t they hypothesized t h a t the s t r e s s a s s o c i a t e d with a job search would resemble the s t r e s s a s s o c i a t e d with job burnout. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the authors found t h a t the job burnout model developed by Edelwich and Brodsky (1980) c o u l d be a p p l i e d t o the experience of unemployment. T h i s model i n c l u d e s the stages of enthusiasm, s t a g n a t i o n , f r u s t r a t i o n and apathy. I t i s t h i s author's s u s p i c i o n t h a t the f i r s t stage of Brodsky's model (enthusiasm) would most l i k e l y be very f l e e t i n g i n the experience of S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s as the m a j o r i t y of c l i e n t ' s t h i s author has c o u n s e l l e d have had very l i t t l e c o n fidence i n t h e i r job search s k i l l s or t h e i r a b i l i t i e s to f i n d a more rewarding p o s i t i o n than that they had been d i s p l a c e d from. (9) As pointed out by K e l v i n and J a r r e t (1985), one p o t e n t i a l danger of d e f i n i n g stages of unemployment i s that a "general s t e r e o t y p e " of the behavior may emerge. T h i s consequence could serve to obscure the f a c t t h a t d i f f e r e n t segments of the unemployed p o p u l a t i o n may d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n t h e i r experience of unemployment. T h i s p r i n c i p l e i s h i g h l i g h t e d i n the work of Borgen and Amundson (1984,1985,1987) i n which they c h a r t d i s t i n c t "emotional r o l l e r c o a s t e r s " based on f a c t o r s such as the c l i e n t s ' gender, age, c u l t u r a l backgound and o c c u p a t i o n a l background. For example, they found t h a t the p o p u l a t i o n sub-groups c o n s i s t i n g of primary wage earners (men & women) over the age of twenty f i v e experienced a s h o r t e r " g r i e f p e r i o d " than job search p e r i o d . They a l s o found that the members of t h i s group who were able to a n t i c i p a t e t h e i r job l o s s seemed to have completed t h e i r g r i e v i n g process p r i o r to being d i s p l a c e d . Not s u p r i s i n g l y , the authors found that the p o p u l a t i o n sub-groups of female secondary wage earners experienced much l e s s severe r e a c t i o n s to job l o s s and, when faced with an u n s u c c e s s f u l job search, experienced a more gradual downward s l i d e . Given the r e l a t i v e homogeneity of experiences of c e r t a i n p o p u l a t i o n sub-groups, i t was decided to explore whether S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s would a l s o have a d i s t i n c t p a t t e r n of experiences of unemployment or would i n s t e a d be d i v i s i b l e i n t o other sub-groups p e r t a i n i n g t o gender, age and/or o c c u p a t i o n a l background. (10) F a c t o r s Moderating The E f f e c t s of Unemployment Because t h i s t h e s i s i s d i s c u s s i n g the experience of unemployment of a s p e c i f i c t a r g e t group ( S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s aged 25-44) i t would be worthwhile to examine the l i t e r a t u r e t h a t has addressed the moderating f a c t o r s on a v a r i e t y of s u b j e c t groups' experience of unemployment. In d i s c u s s i n g t h e i r study of the experience of unemployment, Amundson and Borgen (1987) found that the r e s u l t s of the study po i n t e d t o d i s t i n c t sub-groups such as primary vs. secondary wage ea r n e r s , Asian vs. European Immigrants, Youth (under 25) vs. A d u l t s and s u b j e c t s who a n t i c i p a t e d job l o s s v s. s u b j e c t s who d i d not have as much p r i o r warning. The authors found' that these groups had d i s t i n c t p a t t e r n s of r e a c t i o n s to unemployment. Tiggeman and W i n e f i e l d (1987) a l s o suggested that i t would be q u i t e i n a p p r o p r i a t e to c l a s s i f y the unemployed as an u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d group. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , they pointed out that s u b j e c t s who have no h i s t o r y of s u c c e s s f u l previous employment are l i k e l y to encounter unigue d i f f i c u l t i e s . In a t e l e v i s o n panel on unemployment (C.B.C.,1986), Dr. N. Amundson echoed t h i s c o n c l u s i o n by l a b e l i n g entrance i n t o the workforce as a North American " r i t e of passage" without which one does not f u l l y enter the realm of adulthood. Although the t a r g e t group of t h i s t h e s i s s t a r t s a t age 25, i t i s expected t h a t many of the s u b j e c t s (11) w i l l have no h i s t o r y of long term employment and may thus, to some extent share r e a c t i o n s with unemployed s c h o o l l e a v e r s . Another f a c t o r t h a t has been rep o r t e d to moderate the e f f e c t s of unemployment i s the worker's o c c u p a t i o n a l s t a t u s p r i o r to displacement. Hepworth (1979) found t h a t p r o f e s s i o n a l s were much more a b l e to maintain a s o c i a l network d u r i n g unemployment than were blue c o l l a r workers. Jahoda (1983) concluded t h a t , although many white c o l l a r workers have extremely negative experiences of unemployment, there i s a wide v a r i e t y of responses ( p o s i t i v e and negative) to unemployment w i t h i n t h i s group as opposed to the u n i f o r m a l l y negative experience of d i s p l a c e d blue c o l l a r workers. One f a c t o r t h a t i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o o c c u p a t i o n a l s t a t u s i s f i n a n c i a l support and resources d u r i n g unemployment. T h i s f a c t o r i s c i t e d as predominant i n a number of s t u d i e s examining the e f f e c t s of unemployment. Amundson and Borgen (1987) l i s t e d f i n a n c i a l p r e s s u r e s as a major f a c t o r i n n e g a t i v e l y s h i f t i n g the emotions of the unemployed. P r o h l i c h (1983) reported t h a t "the f i n a n c i a l problems of the unemployed are found to be the main source of f r u s t r a t i o n i n study a f t e r study", (p. 311). Jahoda (1983) found t h a t a l a c k of f i n a n c i a l w e l l being can have a " r i p p l e " e f f e c t on the unemployed, a f f e c t i n g t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s with t h e i r f a m i l y , t h e i r s t r u c t u r e d use of time and t h e i r p h y s i c a l and mental h e a l t h . (12) There are a number of other f a c t o r s t h a t may g r e a t l y a f f e c t the i n d i v i d u a l ' s experience of unemployment. These f a c t o r s i n c l u d e gender ( W i n e f i e l d & Tiggeman, 1983) experience of previous employment (Feather & O'Brien,1986) and p o l i t i c a l b e l i e f s (Furnham,1984). K i r s h (1983) l i s t e d a number of other p o s s i b l e f a c t o r s i n c l u d i n g l e n g t h of unemployment, reason f o r job l o s s , a b i l i t y to handle l o s s e s i n g e n e r a l and job options a v a i l a b l e . In examining the f a c t o r s a f f e c t i n g the experience of the unemployed, i t appears that the great m a j o r i t y would tend to n e g a t i v e l y impact the experience of those on S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e . Because i n d i v i d u a l s on S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e t y p i c a l l y have r e s t r i c t e d job o p t i o n s , l i m i t e d f i n a n c i a l support and are normally u n s k i l l e d or s e m i - s k i l l e d workers, i t i s apparent that these i n d i v i d u a l s are l i k e l y t o have a more negative experience of unemployment than those who b e n e f i t from higher socio-economic s t a t u s . Unemployment and Human Needs In d e s c r i b i n g the p s y c h o l o g i c a l dynamics of unemployment Borgen and Amundson (1984) found i t i n s t r u c t i v e to i n c o r p o r a t e the work of Abraham Maslow (1968). Maslow's " h i e r a r c h y of needs" presents needs at f i v e d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s (Maslow 1968): (13) 1. S e l f - A c t u a l i z a t i o n : need for c r e a t i v e s e l f e x p r e s s i o n 2. Esteem Needs: Need to be worthwhile to s e l f and others Desire f o r st r e n g t h , achievement and mastery Desire f o r p r e s t i g e , dominance and r e c o g n i t i o n 3. Love and Belonging: Need to love and be loved Need to f e e l part of a s p e c i a l group 4. S a f e t y : P h y s i c a l s a f e t y and comfort M a t e r i a l s e c u r i t y Need f o r p s y c h o l o g i c a l and environmental order and s t a b i l i t y Need to be t r u s t e d and to t r u s t others 5. P h y s i o l o g i c a l Needs: Food, d r i n k , oxygen, r e s t , e l i m i n a t i o n , sex The nature of the h i e r a r c h y i s that the needs a t the "lower" l e v e l must be met before the needs a t the "upper" l e v e l s can be addressed with any measure of success. T h i s has very s t r o n g i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s as i t i s reasonable to expect t h a t t h e i r " Safety" and " P h y s i o l o g i c a l " needs w i l l , i n many cases, be inadequately met. Fur t h e r , the stigma that i s t y p i c a l y a s s o c i a t e d with being on S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e c o u l d be a serous o b s t a c l e to meeting needs i n the areas of "Love and Belonging" and "Esteem". Borgen and Amundson (1984) a l s o found i t u s e f u l to co n s i d e r the d e s c r i p t i o n of human needs put f o r t h by T o f f l e r (1980). (14) T o f f l e r (1980) d e s c r i b e s human needs i n three g e n e r a l c a t e g o r i e s : 1. a need f o r community. 2. a need f o r meaning. 3. a need f o r s t r u c t u r e . I t can be expected that unemployment may have a s i g n i f i c a n t impact on a l l three of the aforementioned needs. F i r s t l y , the need f o r community i s o f t e n met by one's co-workers both on the job and o u t s i d e working hours. A number of unemployed i n d i v i d u a l s have reported that unemployment a d v e r s e l y a f f e c t s t h e i r non-work r e l a t e d s o c i a l networks i n c l u d i n g f r i e n d s and f a m i l y (Borgen & Amundson, 1984; Jahoda, 1983). As mentioned e a r l i e r , Western s o c i e t y ( K e l v i n and J a n e t t , 1985) d e f i n e s i n d i v i d u a l s t a t u s i n terms of d i v i s i o n of labour. As a r e s u l t , i t would not be a t a l l s u r p r i s i n g to f i n d the unemployed to be a d v e r s e l y a f f e c t e d by a lack of meaning. F i n a l l y , unemployment can be expected to g r e a t l y a f f e c t the degree of s t r u c t u r e i n the l i v e s of those who experience i t . T h i s may be p a r t i c u l a r l y pronounced f o r S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s as they may not have the f i n a n c i a l and/or s o c i a l resources to engage i n as many job search, a v o c a t i o n a l or v o l u n t e e r a c t i v i t i e s as other unemployed sub groups such as d i s p l a c e d p r o f e s s i o n a l s or secondary wage e a r n e r s . (15) Stigma of S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e As r e p o r t e d by Goodwin (1983), S t r e e t (1981) and Gross, P i l i a v i n and w a l l s t o n (1979), there has been a la c k of r e s e a r c h s t u d i e s i n the area of the p s y c h o l o g i c a l impact of r e c e i v i n g s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e . Despite t h i s problem, one can examine the e f f e c t s of c o l l e c t i n g welfare b e n e f i t s by c o n s i d e r i n g s o c i e t y ' s a t t i t u d e s towards welfare and welfare r e c i p i e n t s . A number of works that d i s c u s s the h i s t o r y and/or e f f i c a c y of the welfare s t a t e r e p o r t the stigma attached to being on w e l f a r e . G o t t l i e b (1974) s t a t e d that "Pew groups are more des p i s e d and v i l i f i e d i n our land than welfare r e c i p i e n t s ; they are w i d e l y p e r c i e v e d (even by many of themselves) as laggards who are not to be t r u s t e d " ( p . l ) . T h i s same author went on to s t a t e t h a t "there i s overwhelming evidence from a l l s i d e s - the p r e s s , governmental debates, s c h o l a r l y s t u d i e s - t h a t the stigma a t t a c h e d to the welfare check i s almost as t a n g i b l e as the paper i t i s w r i t t e n on."(p.14). Golding and Middleton (1982) confirmed t h i s f i n d i n g and r e p o r t that "despite the complex range and s o c i a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of a t t i t u d e s to welfare and s o c i a l s e r v i c e s , perhaps the most s t r i k i n g f i n d i n g i s the o v e r - a l l i n f l u e n c e and nature of h o s t i l i t y to welfare c l a i m a n t s " (p.178) Go l d i n g and Middleton a l s o echoed G o t t l i e b ' s f i n d i n g t h a t these negative view are shared by many of the claimants (16) themselves. Macarov (1980) d e s c r i b e d a s o c i e t y t h a t equates work with m o r a l i t y and, assuming welfare r e c i p i e n t s to be i d l e , d e c l a r e s them t o be immoral. Some r e s e a r c h s t u d i e s designed to measure the p u b l i c ' s a t t i t u d e s towards welfare r e c i p i e n t s a l s o r e v e a l e d a predominantly negative viewpoint. R o l f and Klemach (1983) found a low l e v e l of p u b l i c support f o r welfare programs. Furnharo (1983) r e p o r t e d a p u b l i c p e r c e p t i o n that r e c i p i e n t s were being d i s h o n e s t concerning t h e i r needs and were abusing t h e i r b e n e f i t payments. On a s i m i l a r v e i n , Osgood (1977) found a high percentage of respondents i n d i c a t i n g a s k e p t i c i s m r e g a r d i n g welfare r e c i p i e n t s ' honesty and w i l l i n g n e s s to work. When one f u l l y examines the pervasiveness of the negative s t e r e o t y p e of the welfare r e c i p i e n t , i t i s q u i t e reasonable to conclude t h a t the " s t a t u s " of being a r e c i p i e n t i s l i k e l y to n e g a t i v e l y impact these i n d i v i d u a l s ' sense of s e l f worth, i d e n t i t y and s e l f esteem. Waxman (1983) pointed out t h a t t h i s s t i g m a t i z e d group face a ch a l l e n g e f a r d i f f e r e n t from that of other s t i g m a t i z e d groups such as e t h n i c m i n o r i t i e s and p h y s i c a l l y handicapped. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , a s t i g m a t i z e d e t h n i c m i n o r i t y i s normally q u i t e homogeneous i n a number of ways and can thus develop and maintain i t s own "status-honor and value system i n r e a c t i o n t o the stigma" (p.94). When i t i s an e s s e n t i a l l y e c o n o m i c a l l y based group however, i t does not have the (17) "advantages" of a common e t h n i c and/or r e l i g i o u s h e r i t a g e or a common p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . T h i s i n a b i l i t y to s e t up i t s own system of "status-honor" and values as an a l t e r n a t i v e to that of the mainstream makes i t f a r more l i k e l y t h a t t h i s group w i l l i n t e r n a l i z e t h i s " s p o i l e d i d e n t i t y " . T h i s dynamic i s confirmed by G o t t l i e b (1974) who pointed out th a t welfare r e c i p i e n t s , u n l i k e other disadvantaged groups, have very few s e l f help groups and r e l y on o u t s i d e i n d i v i d u a l s or groups to lobby f o r "welfare r i g h t s " . Given these circumstances, i t i s h a r d l y s u r p r i s i n g t h a t , as mentioned e a r l i e r , even welfare claimants themselves r e p o r t a negative r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t . When combining the p e r c e p t i o n of themselves with the pe r c e p t i o n of how others view them, one can a n t i c i p a t e t h a t a number of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s c o u l d be a f f e c t e d by deep f e e l i n g s of de p r e s s i o n , worthlessness and hopelessness. These f e e l i n g s are bound to a d v e r s e l y a f f e c t both the p o t e n t i a l success of t h i s group's job search and i t s a b i l i t y to cope with unemployment. Summary There have been a number of s t u d i e s t h a t have documented the adverse e f f e c t s t h at unemployment can have on i n d i v i d u a l s and t h e i r f a m i l i e s . When one examines models of "human needs", i t (18) becomes c l e a r that both unemployment and being on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e can have a s i g n i f i c a n t negative impact on these needs. There i s a l s o a gr e a t d e a l of evidence to suggest t h a t d i f f e r e n t sub-groups based on f a c t o r s such as gender, age, e t h n i c o r i g i n and o c c u p a t i o n a l background may have d i f f e r e n t unemployment expe r i e n c e s . However, no s t u d i e s c o u l d be found r e g a r d i n g the unemployment experience of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s . T h i s t h e s i s w i l l t h e r e f o r e attempt t o address t h i s need by s t u d y i n g and d e s c r i b i n g the unemployment experience of t h i s group. Although i t i s c l e a r t h a t there i s a pronounced stigma atta c h e d to being on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e , i t i s not yet known whether s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s have an unemployment experience t h a t i s d i s t i n c t from other p o p u l a t i o n s . (19) CHAPTER H I Methodology T h i s chapter w i l l provide a d e s c r i p t i o n of the s u b j e c t s of the study, the methodological approach, the i n t e r v i e w format and q u e s t i o n s and the data a n a l y s i s . I t w i l l a l s o d e s c r i b e the r e l i a b i l i t y and v a l i d i t y checks. Subjects The p a r t i c i p a n t s i n v o l v e d i n t h i s study were S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s , aged 25 - 44, who were s e l e c t e d to p a r t i c i p a t e i n " P r o j e c t Job Keep", an Innovations p r o j e c t co-funded by Canada Employment and Immigration Commission and the B r i t i s h Columbia M i n i s t r y of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s and Housing. The p r o j e c t was l o c a t e d a t the o f f i c e s of H. K l e i n and A s s o c i a t e s Inc., #500-5050 Kingsway, Burnaby, B.C. In v o l u n t e e r i n g to p a r t i c i p a t e i n P r o j e c t Job Keep, the c l i e n t s were aware that the p r o j e c t had a r e s e a r c h mandate and t h a t they would thus be expected to p a r t i c i p a t e i n taped interviews and i n a number of p e r s o n a l and v o c a t i o n a l assessments. They were a l s o aware t h a t the purpose of the r e s e a r c h was to improve the d e l i v e r y of (20) employment c o u n s e l l i n g and t r a i n i n g to t h i s group, and that t h e i r p e r s o n a l r e s u l t s would not be shared with anyone outside the P r o j e c t Job Keep Research Team. Because t h i s p r o j e c t wished to work with as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e a group as p o s s i b l e , the entrance c r i t e r i a had been kept to a minimum. They were as f o l l o w s : 1. S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t 2. Aged 2 5 - 4 4 3. R e s i d i n g i n Greater Vancouver ( i n c l u d i n g North Shore, Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond and Coquitlam) 4. W i l l i n g to p a r t i c i p a t e i n a l l p r o j e c t a c t i v i t i e s 5. W i l l i n g to s i g n a c o n t r a c t r e g a r d i n g attendance and p u n c t u a l i t y A t o t a l of twenty s u b j e c t s p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the study (11 females and 9 males). Please r e f e r to Table I f o r f u r t h e r demographic d a t a . Methodological Approach Swinburne (1981), i n d i s c u s s i n g the task of s t u d y i n g the conseguences of unemployment, s t a t e d t h a t s m a l l sample in-depth s t u d i e s are necessary to g a i n an understanding of the thoughts and f e e l i n g s of the s u b j e c t s . Borgen and Amundson (1984) a l s o (21) expressed the n e c e s s i t y f o r r e s e a r c h e r s t o u t i l i z e an in-depth i n t e r v i e w i n g approach when stu d y i n g unemployed s u b j e c t s . The open ended i n t e r v i e w i n g approach encourages and allows s u b j e c t s to f u l l y d e s c r i b e t h e i r experiences, i n a manner that i s not being moulded or d i r e c t e d by s p e c i f i c i n t e r v i e w questions or techniques. T h i s t h e s i s b a s i c a l l y u t i l i z e d an in-depth i n t e r v i e w i n g approach based on the work of Borgen and Amundson (1984) and i n doing so, had a p h i l o s o p h i c a l base t h a t was a combination of phenomenological and c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t approaches. The i n t e r v i e w i n g technique used combined phenomenological and c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t techniques with the e x c e p t i o n of a s i n g l e q u e s t i o n t h a t was worded i n a more d i r e c t i v e f a s h i o n i n order to e l i c i t s u b j e c t s ' f e e l i n g s and p e r c e p t i o n s around being on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e . G i o r g i (1975) l i s t e d the f o l l o w i n g as c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of phenomenological r e s e a r c h : "1. F i d e l i t y to the phenomenon as i t i s l i v e d . . . 2. Primacy of l i f e world... 3. D e s c r i p t i v e approach... 4. Ex p r e s s i o n of s i t u a t i o n from viewpoint of s u b j e c t . . . 5. S i t u a t i o n as u n i t of r e s e a r c h i m p l i e s s t r u c t u r a l approach... 6. B i o g r a p h i c a l emphases... 7. Engaged r e s e a r c h e r s . . . 8. Search f o r meaning..." (page 99-101). F i s h e r (1979) s t a t e s t h a t phenomenological r e s e a r c h i s a "comprehension of experience as i t i s l i v e d - e x i s t e n t i a l l y / b e h a v i o r a l l y / r e f l e c t i v e l y . . . f a i t h f u l d e s c r i p t i o n s of (22) Table I Demographic Information Education pondent Age Gender Completed 1 25 M Grade 9 2 26 F Grade 10 3 26 F Grade 10 4 35 M Grade 10 5 36 F Grade 11 6 41 M Grade 12 7 28 F Grade 11 8 40 M Grade 12 9 29 F Grade 12 10 37 F Grade 11 11 38 F Grade 8 12 39 F B Sc. 13 42 M Grade 12 14 31 F Grade 11 15 29 F Grade 10 16 44 M Grade 12 17 33 F Grade 12 18 36 M B.A. 19 39 M Grade 9 20 39 M B.F.A. Average Age 34.65 (23) Table I continued Demographic Information M a r i t a l Status Number of C h i l d r e n L a s t Occupation Held Widowed 0 Telemarketing S i n g l e 1 Sales C l e r k Divorced 1 T e l l e r (On C a l l ) Separated 3 Plumber's Helper S i n g l e 2 Sales C l e r k Married 1 I n s u l a t o r Divorced 1 Waitress S i n g l e 0 D r i v e r S i n g l e 1 Long Term Care A i d Divorced 2 A c t i v i t y D i r e c t o r Divorced 3 Assembly L i n e Worker Divorced 1 Produ c t i o n Supervisor S i n g l e 0 D r a f t e r Separated 3 Cash i e r Divorced 1 Cl e r k Married 1 Marine Supervisor Divorced 1 Cashier Widowed 0 Cook Married 1 Swamper Separated 2 Sign P a i n t e r (24) p a r t i c u l a r kinds of experiences...can be researched f o r t h e i r common s t r u c t u r e " (page 116). The preceding statements p o i n t t o the u t i l i t y of phenomenological r e s e a r c h i n a l l o w i n g people to d e s c r i b e t h e i r own experiences and i n a f f o r d i n g the r e s e a r c h e r the o p p o r t u n i t y to g a i n i n s i g h t s and i n f o r m a t i o n r e g a r d i n g these experiences as they e x i s t f o r the s u b j e c t s themselves. Flanagan (1954) advocated the use of the " c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t t echnique" which i s designed to e l i c i t r e p o r t s of f a c i l i t a t i n g and h i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s i n the s u b j e c t s ' experiences, from the s u b j e c t s ' viewpoint. I t i s then used to place these i n c i d e n t s w i t h i n a v e r i f i a b l e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n system. A number of authors who have u t i l i z e d t h i s methodology (Andersson & N i l s s o n , 1964; Borgen & Amundson, 1984; Harder, 1986; Herzberg, Mausner & Snyderman, 1959; Flanagan, 1978) have found i t to be e f f e c t i v e i n i d e n t i f y i n g f a c i l i t a t i n g and h i n d e r i n g i n c i d e n t s w i t h i n a s u b j e c t ' s e x p e r i e n c e . As pointed out by Borgen & Amundson (1984), the c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t techniques has p a r t i c u l a r u t i l i t y i n the study of the unemployment experience due to " i t s emphasis on the s u b j e c t s ' viewpoint of a s i t u a t i o n and the e l a b o r a t i o n of s p e c i f i c b e h a v i o u r a l i n c i d e n t s " , (p.12). The same authors mentioned an e q u a l l y e s s e n t i a l aspect of t h i s technique which i s t h a t "a c a t e g o r y system u s u a l l y becomes r e a d i l y apparent" (p.12). In summary, the methodolgy of t h i s study drew from phenomenology i n t h a t i t emphasized the p e r s p e c t i v e of the (25) s u b j e c t s themselves. I t drew from c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t r e s e a r c h i n t h a t i t e l i c i t e d f a c t o r s that the s u b j e c t s p e r c e i v e d as being h e l p f u l or h i n d e r i n g . The methodolgy of t h i s study d i f f e r e d from t r a d i t i o n a l c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t s t u d i e s i n that i t examined i n c i d e n t s i n the context of the s u b j e c t s ' o v e r a l l experiences r a t h e r than any s p e c i f i c f a c e t of the experience. T h i s methodology f a c i l i t a t e d a more i n depth understanding of the experience of unemployment of s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e r e c i p i e n t s . Interview Questions The i n t e r v i e w s c o n s i s t e d of the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n s , most of which had a l r e a d y been developed f o r the study of the experience of unemployment (Amundson and Borgen, 1984). As p r e v i o u s l y mentioned, the only question not a l r e a d y developed by the aforementioned authors was question # 6, which was designed to e l i c i t i n f o r m a t i o n s p e c i f i c to the experience of being on S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e . 1. I'd l i k e you to think back to when you f i r s t heard you were going to lose your l a s t job. Could you r e f l e c t on your thoughts and f e e l i n g at that time ? 2. What has i t been l i k e s i n c e then ? 2b. What has the l a s t year been l i k e f o r you ? (26) 3. Now I'd l i k e you to t e l l your own s t o r y of your unemployment exp e r i e n c e . J u s t l i k e any s t o r y , there's always a beginning, middle and end. Could you begin with before you were unemployed, and continue to d e s c r i b e your experience i n terms of thoughts, f e e l i n g s , a c t i o n s , and job search. 4. Could you d e s c r i b e what you consid e r to be your lowest p o i n t s d u r i n g unemployment ? For example, s t a r t i n g with the f i r s t low p o i n t you can remember, what happened e x a c t l y and why was i t d i f f i c u l t f o r you ? 5. Now the high p o i n t s d u r i n g the whole time, s t a r t i n g with the f i r s t p o i n t you can remember, what happened e x a c t l y and why was i t d i f f i c u l t f o r you ? 6. What has i t been l i k e being on S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e ? 7. What are your e x p e c t a t i o n s about the f u t u r e r i g h t now ? 8. Could you draw a p i c t u r e of what your experience of unemployment has been l i k e r i g h t now ? For example, i f you could see your l i f e as some kind of a l i n e s t a r t i n g here when you were l a s t working, and ending here f o r r i g h t now i n time, what would you draw i n between ? A d d i t i o n a l questions were then asked t o gather demographic data. (27) The Interview Each i n t e r v i e w began with the r e s e a r c h e r p r e s e n t i n g the s u b j e c t consent form to be signed by both the r e s e a r c h e r and the s u b j e c t . A f t e r the completion of t h i s form, the tape recorder was turned on. The r e s e a r c h e r conducted the i n t e r v i e w u s i n g the same sequence and q u e s t i o n s o u t l i n e d i n the p r e v i o u s s e c t i o n . A f t e r each q u e s t i o n , the s u b j e c t was g i v e n s u f f i c i e n t time to answer the q u e s t i o n i n as much d e t a i l as p o s s i b l e . Subjects were a l s o encouraged to answer questions i n d e t a i l by the r e s e a r c h e r ' s use of the n o n - d i r e c t i v e s t y l e recommended by Amundson and Borgen (1984). T h i s approach e n t a i l e d the i n t e r v i e w e r s r e s t r i c t i n g t h e i r comments to " encouragers" such as "yes" and "I see" and to summarizing and c l a r i f y i n g when a p p r o p r i a t e . In t h i s way, the r e s e a r c h e r encouraged the s u b j e c t t o s e l f d i s c l o s e without unduly i n f l u e n c i n g the s u b j e c t i n any p a r t i c u l a r d i r e c t i o n . A f t e r a l l the prepared questions had been asked, s u b j e c t s were asked i f they had anything they wished to add. The r e s e a r c h e r then e x p l a i n e d t h a t a c e r t a i n number of s u b j e c t s would l a t e r be randomly s e l e c t e d f o r a s h o r t f o l l o w up i n t e r v i e w i n which the reseacher c o u l d check the v a l i d i t y of the r e s u l t s of the data a n a l y s i s . (28) Data A n a l y s i s The data a n a l y s i s used i n t h i s t h e s i s was based on the methods developed by Borgen and Amundson (1984) and c o n s i s t e d of the f o l l o w i n g s t e p s : 1. T r a n s c r i p t i o n of taped i n t e r v i e w s . 2. L i s t i n g of emotional s h i f t s as w e l l as the accompanying events or behaviours. The study o r i g i n a l l y intended to a l s o analyse data p e r t a i n i n g to time sequences i n v o l v e d with the occurence of p a r t i c u l a r emotions as w e l l as coping s t r a t e g i e s employed. T h i s proved i m p r a c t i c a l , however, as the l a r g e m a j o r i t y of s u b j e c t s mentioned few, i f any, coping s t r a t e g i e s and had v e r y l i t t l e p e r c e p t i o n of time sequences i n v o l v e d . T h i s l a t t e r q u a l i t y may have been due to the c h r o n i c and c y c l i c a l nature of the s u b j e c t s unemployment as w e l l as the " f l a t n e s s " of t h e i r e x perience. 3a. E s t a b l i s h i n g c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t c a t e g o r i e s ( i . e . h e l p f u l or h i n d e r i n g f a c t o r s ) by s o r t i n g the emotional i n c i d e n t s v i a themes. 3b. R e l i a b i l i t y check of the e s t a b l i s h e d c a t e g o r i e s . A second p a r t y who had a l r e a d y completed an M.A. i n Psychology was asked to read a l l of the t r a n s c r i p t s , p l a c i n g the emotional s h i f t s i n t o the c a t e g o r i e s (29) developed by the author. T h i s check included a l i m i t e d c o l l a b o r a t i o n between the author and the second p a r t y i n regards to the r e p r o d u c t i o n of c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t s . In a d d i t i o n , the second p a r t y independently placed each of the c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t s i n t o c a t e g o r i e s . 4. T a l l y of c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t category f r e q u e n c i e s . This was f i r s t performed on i n d i v i d u a l sheets f o r each s u b j e c t . I n d i v i d u a l t o t a l s were then combined to a r r i v e at group r e s u l t s . (Please see Tables 2 and 3.) 5. Summarizing each taped i n t e r v i e w to capture a more " h o l i s t i c " p i c t u r e of s u b j e c t s * unemployment experience. V a l i d i t y Check A t o t a l of 10 respondents (50%) were chosen to be contacted fo r a f o l l o w up telephone i n t e r v i e w . Respondents were chosen on the b a s i s of the ease with which they could be reached by telephone. The data a n a l y s i s procedure was b r i e f l y o u t l i n e d and the s u b j e c t s were informed that a summary of t h e i r unemployment experience would be read to them and they would then be asked to respond to the accuracy of t h i s summary. This summary i n c l u d e d a breakdown of the c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t s c u l l e d from the s u b j e c t ' s i n t e r v i e w as w e l l as each i n c i d e n t ' s frequency r a n k i n g . (30) CHAPTER IV Res u l t s and D i s c u s s i o n The r e s u l t s of the data a n a l y s i s form the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n which r e s u l t s i n a comprehensive d e s c r i p t i o n of the experience of unemployment f o r S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s aged 25 to 44 years o l d . T h i s s e c t i o n i n c l u d e s the r e s u l t s of the r e l i a b i l i t y and v a l i d i t y checks, a d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s of the c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t c a t e g o r i e s and a summary of the o v e r a l l experience of unemployment of the s u b j e c t s of t h i s study. R e l i a b i l t y and V a l i d i t y The r e l i a b i l t y check r e s u l t e d i n the achievment of a 92% agreement r a t e , exceeding the 80% r a t e t h a t had been s e t as the acceptable standard. The v a l i d i t y check r e s u l t e d i n each respondent who had been contacted i n d i c a t i n g t h a t t h e i r experiences had been a c c u r a t e l y captured. They responded with comments such as, "That's a good summary." and "You've covered a l l the bases." None of the respondents suggested any r e q u i r e d a d d i t i o n s or changes. (31) Based on the degree of accuracy i l l u s t r a t e d by these checks, i t i s reasonable to conclude that the o r g a n i z a t i o n of the data a c c u r a t e l y r e p r e s e n t s the experience of unemployment of the s u b j e c t s of the study. C r i t i c a l I n c i d ent A n a l y s i s of the Unemployment Experience A t o t a l of f i v e hundred and s i x t e e n c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t s were i d e n t i f i e d from the t r a n s c r i p t s of the taped i n t e r v i e w s . These i n c i d e n t s were then placed i n t o 51 c a t e g o r i e s . The c a t e g o r i e s were broken down i n t o negative and p o s i t i v e . Table 2 g i v e s a rank order summary of the negative c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t c a t e g o r i e s and Table 3 g i v e s a rank order summary of the p o s i t i v e c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t c a t e g o r i e s . A t o t a l of 423 c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t s (82%) were negative i n nature and a t o t a l of 93 c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t s (18%) were p o s i t i v e i n nature. Each of the c a t e g o r i e s i n which a t l e a s t 25% of the s u b j e c t s mentioned c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t s w i l l be d e s c r i b e d b r i e f l y . The range of the experience w i l l be given by d e s c r i b i n g the d i f f e r e n c e s of the experience of the respondents w i t h i n each category. F i n a l l y , one or two d i r e c t quotations w i l l be used t o i l l u s t r a t e each category. (32) TABLE 2 Rank Order Summary Of Negative C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t s : Number of Number of Subjects Category Incidents Per I n c i d e n t S t r e s s e d by Lack of Money 119 19 F r u s t r a t e d by Job Search 41 16 Depressed/Ashamed of Being on Welfare 26 13 M a r i t a l / F a m i l y Problems 24 10 F e e l s Unmarketable 23 9 Loss of S e l f Esteem 22 8 Contact With M i n i s t r y of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s & Housing 21 7 Bored 18 7 Unhappy with Job 14 7 Disappointed about L o s i n g Job 12 7 Lazy/Unmotivated 11 6 Christmas 9 6 E x p l o i t e d by Employer/ T r a i n i n g Program 7 6 F e e l s D i s c r i m i n a t e d Against 7 5 Unhappy with Moving 5 4 D i f f i c u l t i e s of S i n g l e P a r e n t i n g 11 3 Housebound 7 3 (33) TABLE 2 (Continued) Peels Misunderstood by F r i e n d s 5 3 S e l f Conscious about Age 5 3 Disappointed with T r a i n i n g Program 4 3 Contact with C.E.I.C's 4 3 P e s s i s m i s t i c about Future 3 3 F r u s t r a t e d by Government Regulations 8 2 Winter 5 2 Contact with U.I.C. 2 2 Fear of Being Caught Making Undeclared Money 3 1 Angry a t S o c i e t y 1 1 Leaving School Prematurely 1 1 Waiting f o r Immigration Status 1 1 D r i n k i n g 1 1 D i s o r i e n t e d by new c i t y 1 1 Loss of Independence 1 1 Lonely 1 1 423 (34) TABLE 3 Rank Order Summary Of P o s i t i v e C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t s : Number of Number of Subjects Per Category Incidents I n c i d e n t s J o i n e d Course or Employment/ T r a i n i n g Program 18 11 F e l t F u l f i l l e d R a i s i n g Family 12 7 Happy with Job 10 7 Supported by F r i e n d s 10 7 Re l i e v e d to Leave Job 10 7 P/T or Temporary/Work/Income 7 5 Supported by Family 4 3 Volunteer Work 4 3 Summer 3 3 T r i p 3 3 Happy with Housing 4 2 Romantic R e l a t i o n s h i p 2 2 R e l i g i o u s C o n v i c t i o n 2 2 F e e l i n g of Greater Independence 1 1 O p t i m i s t i c about Job Search 1 1 C l a s s Reunion 1 1 Free to Set Own Schedule 1 1 Supported by M i n i s t r y of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s and Housing 1 1 93 (35) Negative C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s F i n a n c i a l P r e s s u r e s T h i s c a t e g o r y r e f e r s to the s t r e s s , t e n s i o n , a n x i e t y and/or d e p r e s s i o n the respondents experience as a r e s u l t of lack of f i n a n c e s . Range For the most p a r t , members r e p o r t e d not having enough money f o r b a s i c needs such as food, s h e l t e r and c l o t h i n g . One respondent r e p o r t e d not being a b l e t o att e n d a New Year's Eve p a r t y as he would have to take h i s shoes o f f and he d i d n ' t have a p a i r of socks without holes i n them. A few respondents rep o r t e d a g r e a t d e a l of d i f f i c u l t i e s meeting t h e i r monthly b i l l s and were d i s t r e s s e d by the debts they were accumulating. S i n g l e parents seemed to have the most f i n a n c i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s and expressed intense pressure and f r u s t r a t i o n a t not being able t o meet t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s e x p e c t a t i o n s r e g a r d i n g items such as c l o t h i n g , entertainment and t o y s . This category was c l e a r l y a source of a great d e a l of d e s p a i r f o r v i r t u a l l y every respondent and there were few cases where respondents c o u l d see the " l i g h t a t the end of the t u n n e l " p e r t a i n i n g to f i n a n c e s . (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 19 or 95 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 119) ( 3 6 ) I l l u s t r a t i o n " A l l I t h i n k about i s , how do I get next months r e n t i n the bank now t h a t I've got t h i s months r e n t ? Where i s the money coming from f o r g r o c e r i e s ? What time should I be a t the food bank to get an e a r l y place i n l i n e so I don't end up s t a n d i n g there f o r e v e r ? where can I go to get what I need t o get? I t ' s j u s t . . . r e a l l y the ... j u s t . . . s c r a t c h i n g to get by which hasn't l e f t me much time f o r anything f o r me." "Money... There's never enough money. I mean i f you go to a g r o c e r y s t o r e and charge up but a t the end of the month again you s t i l l don't have that money to pay f o r i t but you end up paying f o r i t and you're out a g a i n . I t ' s a continuous back to back... J u s t s t r e t c h i n g , s t r i v i n g to get by. You don't pay one b i l l one month and you have a double b i l l next month. And t h a t ' s the way I've been i n the winter months. I t ' s hard t r y i n g to get a l i t t l e e x t r a here and t h a t l i t t l e e x t r a doesn't even... You don't even see i t . " F r u s t r a t e d by Job Search T h i s c a t e g o r y i n c l u d e s the negative f e e l i n g s respondents expressed around being unable to f i n d employment. (37) Range The g r e a t m a j o r i t y of remarks i n t h i s c a t e g o r y concerned the gen e r a l r a t h e r than the s p e c i f i c . Only one respondent reported disappointment a t not g e t t i n g a s p e c i f i c job. Others made more ge n e r a l complaints such as no jobs being a v a i l a b l e , not g e t t i n g responses t o resumes and being " l e d " on by p o t e n t i a l employers. A number of s u b j e c t s r e p o r t e d f e e l i n g discouraged by job r e j e c t i o n s t o the extent that they were unable to pursue any f u r t h e r job s e a r c h . Others complained of employers "inhumanity", r e p o r t i n g t h a t employers had l i t t l e regard f o r t h e i r f e e l i n g s . A few respondents complained of being considered under or over q u a l i f i e d f o r p o s i t i o n s they would have been pleased t o assume. (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 16 or 80 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 41) I l l u s t r a t i o n "I make the r e t u r n phone c a l l and they go, "Oh w e l l , we j u s t found somebody e l s e " or you c a l l ten people i n the paper about jobs and they j u s t say, "No, we a l r e a d y found somebody", or i f you do go i n f o r an i n t e r v i e w i t seems r e a l l y good, r e a l l y p o s i t i v e they say, "1*11 get back to you tomorrow", and t h a t ' s the l a s t you ever hear of them. Then I get depressed and i t gets hard to even look a t the paper." "You t r y f o r more attempts l o o k i n g out f o r jobs and then you get negative r e s u l t s and i t ' s j u s t a b i g depression a g a i n . This (38) happened to roe s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t times. So you go back and you j u s t say, "to h e l l with i t . " Right? You t r y to put your mind o f f of i t and think of anything e l s e t h a t you can do." Depressed/Ashamed Of Being On Welfare T h i s c a t e g o r y i n c l u d e s the gamut of negative f e e l i n g s s u b j e c t s r e p o r t e d around being on w e l f a r e . Range Members of t h i s category r e p o r t e d f e e l i n g l i k e they had l o s t t h e i r independence as they were dependent on the government for t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d . One member re p o r t e d negative f e e l i n g s c oncerning the looks on passing d r i v e r ' s faces when he waited o u t s i d e the welfare o f f i c e to pick up h i s cheque. A few respondents s t a t e d that they a v o i d t e l l i n g f r i e n d s and acquaintances t h a t they're on w e l f a r e . Others r e p o r t e d f e e l i n g depressed t h a t they had "sunk to t h i s p o i n t " . (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r 13 or 65 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 26) I l l u s t r a t i o n " I t i s bad. I t i s bad. I hate i t . I simply hate i t . I want t o get out of i t as soon as p o s s i b l e . When I d e p o s i t the cheques i n the bank I can f e e l i t , the c a s h i e r s , how they look a t me. They looked a t me a d i f f e r e n t way when I was l i v i n g on my s a v i n g s . " (39) "You c e r t a i n l y don't t e l l people about i t . You're dependent on a c e r t a i n amount of money once a month through other peoples pocket, r e a l l y . I l i k e to be an i n d i v i d u a l . I have an ego as I'm sure the m a j o r i t y of people do and i t ' s not n i c e having i t knocked down. Ri g h t ? " Peels Unmarketable T h i s c a t e g o r y r e f e r s to the respondents' f e e l i n g t h a t they are unable to g a i n employment due to t h e i r own lack of s k i l l s , e ducation or experience as opposed to blaming employers or government o f f i c i a l s . Range Many of the s u b j e c t s r e p o r t e d f e e l i n g t h a t they would r e q u i r e some s o r t of r e - t r a i n i n g i n order to f i n d work as they p r e s e n t l y lacked any v o c a t i o n a l s k i l l s or the s k i l l s they d i d possess were out-dated. Others f e l t t h a t gaps i n t h e i r work h i s t o r y made i t extremely d i f f i c u l t f o r them to be taken s e r i o u s l y by p o t e n t i a l employers. Two respondents f e l t that they were too o l d to be considered f o r employment and two others thought t h a t being on welfare "scared employers o f f " . In g e n e r a l , the f e e l i n g s i n t h i s c a t e g o r y d i d not appear to r e s u l t from d i r e c t feedback from p o t e n t i a l employers but were r a t h e r i n f e r e n c e s made by the s u b j e c t s as a r e s u l t of t h e i r job search f a i l u r e s . (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 9 or 45 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 23) (40) I l l u s t r a t i o n s "I know, when you've been unemployed f o r a couple of years and you've been working a few months d u r i n g that time, i t doesn't look too good on your a p p l i c a t i o n . For some reason, I guess, when I say you've o n l y . . . You know, you put down th a t you've o n l y worked from a c e r t a i n date to a c e r t a i n date, so I guess they get t h i s assumption that i t ' s our f a u l t . " "Because you want to go f o r a job and you don't want t o be a dishwasher a l l your l i f e . You don't want to have a low type job. You want t o get something good. Right? I t ' s f o r your f u t u r e but then you don't have any education. You don't have any p a r t i c u l a r s k i l l s . You don't have nothing. I t ' s l i k e kind of going and l o o k i n g f o r a job but you have to be r e a l i s t i c . " M a r i t a l / F a m i l y Problems This category i n c l u d e s m a r i t a l s p l i t s and t e n s i o n s as w e l l as c o n f l i c t s with " s i g n i f i c a n t o t h e r s " such as l o v e r s and common-law spouses. I t a l s o included c o n f l i c t s with parents, c h i l d r e n and s i b l i n g s . Range The m a j o r i t y of responses i n t h i s c a t e g o r y d i d not seem d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to unemployment although two respondents d i d r e p o r t t e n s i o n s due to spending more time a t home. A few members (41) c i t e d m a r i t a l s p l i t s t h a t occurred p r i o r t o t h e i r unemployment, two of which caused the unemployment i t s e l f . Three members report e d problems i n g e t t i n g along with t h e i r parents. In one case, the problems were of s u f f i c i e n t g r a v i t y to cause the s u b j e c t to sever a l l t i e s with her parents. Another s u b j e c t re p o r t e d d i f f i c u l t i e s i n d e a l i n g with her " s p e c i a l needs c h i l d " whose d e l i n q u e n t behaviour caused a v a r i e t y of problems. (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 10 or 50 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 24) I l l u s t r a t i o n "I've managed to get on my mother's nerves or she's gotten on my nerves which i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p I don't want to s p o i l and I r e a l i z e d t h a t was because I'm not out f o r a good p a r t of the day. S t a t i c b u i l d s up between people when they're i n c l o s e q u a r t e r s . You know. I l i k e to have my p r i v a c y and i n d i v i d u a l i t y but you lose that when you spend a l o t of time a t home." "He doesn't want me around anyways a l l the time. I get on h i s case too much. I t ' s time I got out cause I f e e l t h a t i f I don't get out t h a t I'm probably going to have a nervous breakdown or something." Contact with M i n i s t r y of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s & Housing T h i s c a t e g o r y i n c l u d e s any c o n t a c t with M i n i s t r y o f f i c e s or s t a f f t h a t c l i e n t s expressed i n a negative l i g h t . (42) Range The reponses i n t h i s category were f o r the most p a r t q u i t e g e n e r a l as opposed to r e f e r r i n g to a p a r t i c u l a r i n c i d e n t or worker. A few respondents r e p o r t e d negative experiences i n p i c k i n g up t h e i r cheques and others complained about M i n i s t r y p o l i c y or the "general a t t i t u d e s " of M i n i s t r y s t a f f . (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 7 or 35 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 21) I l l u s t r a t i o n "There's times that you f e e l almost l i k e t h e r e ' s someone watching over your shoulder. I t s not a r e a l concern because I a p p r e c i a t e the f a c t t h a t I've got i t and I would never t r y to abuse i t , but I'd sure r a t h e r not be on i t . But t h a t ' s p a r t of t h e i r job to keep an eye on what people are doing and you have t o r e s p e c t them fo r doing t h e i r job, on the same note, I l i k e my p r i v a c y . I r e a l l y don't want to account f o r every movement." "I don't know. Going through... Having to apply, you have to b r i n g i n every r e c e i p t f o r rent and your phone and your hydro. You know. I t ' s l i k e they don't t r u s t anybody. The l i t t l e b i t you get f o r c h i l d support, i t takes you two years to f i g h t f o r i t , they deduct o f f your cheque so you're no f u r t h e r ahead. You end up g e t t i n g a part-time job j u s t to h e l p and they deduct t h a t t o . There's no i n c e n t i v e . And the run around you g e t . . . " (43) Loss of S e l f Esteem T h i s c a t e g o r y i n c l u d e s any remarks r e l a t i n g t o s u b j e c t s d e c l i n e of s e l f confidence or s e l f image. Range Comments i n t h i s category tended t o r e l a t e t o f e e l i n g s around being on S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e or f r u s t r a t i o n i n not being a b l e t o secure employment. A number of s u b j e c t s expressed t h a t being dependent on "handouts" made them f e e l they had somehow descended t o a lower l e v e l of being. A couple of respondents r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e i r prolonged unemployment made them q u e s t i o n t h e i r own worth and a b i l i t i e s and c a s t s e l f doubt as t o t h e i r a b i l i t y to r e j o i n the workforce. (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 8 or 40 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 22) I l l u s t r a t i o n "We don't get a cheque u n t i l Wednesday so I had to borrow ten d o l l a r s f o r gas to get here. They gave me a c l o t h i n g allowance though. They g i v e i t t o you i n a voucher and t e l l you where you can shop. I've had my own f a m i l y and I've l i v e d on my own and to have to t u r n around and be t o l d , how to do t h i s and how to do t h a t . I t takes away any kind of s e l f esteem you've got l e f t . " (44) Unhappy on Job T h i s category i s unique i n t h a t i t c o u l d be l a b e l l e d p a r t of the s u b j e c t s "pre-unemployment exp e r i e n c e " . I t i n c l u d e s any remarks p e r t a i n i n g to unhappiness or d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with t h e i r employment. Range Th i s category c o n t a i n s a wide range of responses as the d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s with employment were q u i t e d i v e r s e . C o n d i t i o n s s u b j e c t s complained about i n c l u d e d s e x u a l harrassment, f a i l u r e t o be paid on time, i n s e n s i t i v e management, e x c e s s i v e pressures on the job, u n f a i r promotion p o l i c i e s and b o r i n g job t a s k s . (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 7 or 35 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 14) I l l u s t r a t i o n s "Everyone was upset and angry because of the sudden changes i n how things were done. The new mangement was not w e l l l i k e d and wasn't very good at e n t e r i n g i n t o i t . Any time new management walks i n , you're not going to be l i k e d t h a t ' s p r e t t y much a g i v e n . They d i d n ' t seem to have any p e r s o n a l s k i l l s t o get around that which the other management had and i n f a c t worked out q u i t e w e l l . They made the people re a s o n a b l y happy. I was under a l o t of p r e s s u r e . A couple of people had been, of the f l o o r s t a f f , had been thought u n f a i r l y and unreasonably f i r e d . I was bothered by t h a t , d i s t u r b e d by i t . " (45) "You'd earn about $2.70 an hour, or something l i k e t h a t but the t h i n g t h a t got to roe i s your spending twelve hours a day i n the b l i n k i n g t a x i and you had to t e l l people every move you make, when you leave the t a x i and when you get back and t h i s kind of s t u f f and you've got to check i n with your d i s p a t c h e r . You're r i g h t under a microscope, so i t was r e a l l y r e s t r i c t i n g . " Bored T h i s c a t e g o r y i n c l u d e s respondents' comments around the monotony and boredom of t h e i r day to day l i v e s . Range: Comments i n t h i s category were q u i t e homogeneous i n nature. They t y p i c a l l y centered around the lack of v a r i e t y or c h a l l e n g e i n the s u b j e c t s ' l i v e s . A number of s u b j e c t s a l s o mentioned d i f f i c u l t i e s i n f i l l i n g t h e i r time. (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 7 or 35 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 18) I l l u s t r a t i o n " I t wasn't hard. I coped with i t . That o n l y l a s t e d . . . Unemployment o n l y l a s t e d a few months... s i x months, seven months. Then I got pregnant." Disappointed About L o s i n g Job T h i s c a t e g o r y i n c l u d e s any negative f e e l i n g c l i e n t s experienced around l o s s of a s p e c i f i c j o b . (46) Range There was a dichotomy of f e e l i n g s i n t h i s category. Some members f e l t angry a t t h e i r employers f o r l e t t i n g them go. Other members had a "here we go a g a i n " r e a c t i o n which was a mixture of a n x i e t y and r e s i g n a t i o n around r e t u r n i n g to unemployment and/or S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e . (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 7 or 35 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 12) I l l u s t r a t i o n "I was very angry, v e r y angry. Cause the reason I l o s t my job was not r i g h t . I d i d n ' t lose i t because I was incompetent or whatever. They t o l d me they were going to l a y me o f f . I d i d n ' t hear i t through the managers or anything. I heard i t through the s t a f f t h a t I wasn't easy enough so I got canned. And I was angry." Peels Lazy/Unmotivated T h i s c a t e g o r y i s somewhat s i m i l a r to the "bored" category as both c a t e g o r i e s d e a l with the s u b j e c t s being " i n a r u t " . T h i s c a t e g o r y d i f f e r s from boredom as i t seems to come a f t e r boredom c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y and i t i n v o l v e s an " i n e r t i a " wherein the s u b j e c t s are unable t o "get themselves going" Range G e n e r a l l y , members of t h i s category reported t h a t they had l o s t the energy and/or m o t i v a t i o n to p o s i t i v e l y change t h e i r (47) l i v e s . In most cases, t h i s seemed to be the outcome of a p e r i o d of u n s u c c e s s f u l job or job search a c t i v i t y . (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r 6 or 30 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 11) I l l u s t r a t i o n " I t ' s been a r e a l bloody drag. I t ' s been r e a l l y , r e a l l y hard because i t ' s s o . . . I t has been a while and i t ' s so easy j u s t to s i t back and do nothing." Christmas T h i s c a t e g o r y c o n t a i n s any negative f e e l i n g s s u b j e c t s experienced around the Christmas h o l d i a y season, i n c l u d i n g New Years. Range The m a j o r i t y of the respondents r e p o r t e d d i f f i c u l t i e s i n coping with the a d d i t i o n a l expenses t h a t are normally i n c u r r e d d u r i n g the Christmas season. In p a r t i c u l a r , s u b j e c t s with c h i l d r e n f e l t v e ry badly about not being a b l e to buy t h e i r c h i l d r e n the types of presents they would l i k e t o . Another respondent r e p o r t e d an i n a b i l i t y to a t t e n d Christmas p a r t i e s due to inadequate c l o t h i n g . Aside from f i n a n c i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s , the other negative aspect of Christmas was the p e r c e p t i o n that i t should be a time of c e l e b r a t i o n when they had very l i t t l e i n t h e i r personal or work l i v e s to c e l e b r a t e . (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 6 or 30 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 11) (48) I l l u s t r a t i o n "I do have three k i d s and I j u s t c o u l d n ' t g i v e them s t u f f . Christmas comes along and I'm s c r a p p i n g f o r every penny and a l l t h a t . " " I t ' s d i s a p p o i n t i n g , e s p e c i a l l y when Christmas comes around. R i g h t . That seems to be the worst p a r t of the year. You haven't got any money i n the bank. You spend l o t s of time around the house. You know. There's j u s t no f u l f i l l m e n t and s a t i s f a c t i o n of doing a n y t h i n g . What have I got to show f o r anything I've done. R i g h t ? " E x p l o i t e d By Employer/Training Program T h i s c a t e g o r y concerns the negative experiences s u b j e c t s had with jobs or employment t r a i n i n g programs that r e s u l t e d i n them f e e l i n g e x p l o i t e d . Range Some members of t h i s category were p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t r a i n i n g programs i n which employers were e n l i s t e d as " T r a i n i n g Place Hosts" to g i v e them work experience t r a i n i n g . In these cases there was an i m p l i c i t understanding t h a t t h i s work experience p e r i o d (which c o s t s the employer nothing) would be followed by paid employment. I t was a l s o understood t h a t the p a r t i c i p a n t would be l e a r n i n g new s k i l l s d u r i n g the work experience. When the employers d i d not l i v e up to t h i s agreement, the s u b j e c t s (49) Involved f e l t b i t t e r and e x p l o i t e d . Other s u b j e c t s reported f e e l i n g e x p l o i t e d by r e g u l a r employers. T h i s centered around monetary i s u e s such as being underpaid or not being paid on time. (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 6 or 30 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 7) I l l u s t r a t i o n s "Two host companies and they were awful and I d i d n ' t get good experience and I f e l t l i k e I was r e a l l y taken advantage o f . So my s e l f c onfidence went down again and... not g e t t i n g the job because they weren't good host companies." " I t ' s j u s t l i k e with t h i s plumber guy. He's got money. He's r o l l i n g i n money. He j u s t pays me the $3.00 and he's even r e f u s i n g t o s i g n those forms so I can get my other $3.00." F e e l s D i s c r i m i n a t e d Against T h i s c a t e g o r y r e f e r s to s u b j e c t s ' p e r c e p t i o n t h a t they are being u n f a i r l y t r e a t e d or perceived on the b a s i s of f a c t o r s such as f a m i l y s t a t u s , m a r i t a l s t a t u s , race or economic s t a t u s Range Most respondents i n t h i s category reported f e e l i n g d i s c r i m i n a t e d a g a i n s t i n t h e i r job search. In these cases, s u b j e c t s p e r c e i v e d t h a t they were being u n f a i r l y exempted from c o n s i d e r a t i o n f o r job openings due to t h e i r being on welfare or (50) being s i n g l e parents. A couple of s u b j e c t s f e l t that they were being d i s c r i m i n a t e d a g a i n s t i n non job search r e l a t e d i n t e r a c t i o n s such as banking or shopping. In these cases, s u b j e c t s f e l t t h a t they were being d i s c r i m i n a t e d a g a i n s t on the b a s i s of race or economic s t a t u s ( i . e . being on w e l f a r e ) . (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 5 or 25 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 7) I l l u s t r a t i o n "A l o t of people shun away from s i n g l e parents because they don't f e e l t h e i r attendance would be as good as say a married woman or a s i n g l e person (without c h i l d r e n ) , so I f e l t a l o t of f r u s t r a t i o n i n job hunting." P o s i t i v e C r i t i c a l I n c i d e n t C a t e g o r i e s Joined Course or Employment Program T h i s was the most f r e q u e n t l y mentioned p o s i t i v e c r i t i c a i n c i d e n t category. I t r e f e r s t o the s u b j e c t s ' p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g s around e n r o l l i n g i n any type of job r e l a t e d course or t r a i n i n g program. Range The m a j o r i t y of respondents i n t h i s category f e l t very p o s i t i v e about j o i n i n g a course or program but were not s p e c i f i c (51) as to why t h i s was such a p o s i t i v e I n c i d e n t . In two cases, s u b j e c t s mentioned some p a r t i c u l a r s k i l l s t h a t they learned i n these programs such as t y p i n g s k i l l s and resume w r i t i n g . Although s u b j e c t s d i d not express i t e x p l i c i t l y , i t seems t h a t a number of the respondents found that j o i n i n g a program was an " e n e r g i z i n g " experience as i t got them more a c t i v e and gave them a g r e a t e r sense of purpose. (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 11 or 55 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 18) I l l u s t r a t i o n "Well, the f i r s t high p o i n t was when I became a p a r t of that job a c t i o n group. That r e a l l y got me going. I t was g r e a t . I was j u s t going around i n c i r c l e s a f t e r I'd v i s i t a l l these companies and my resume wasn't a l l that g r e a t , l o o k i n g back. The j o b - a c t i o n gorup got my resume down r e a l w e l l and I learned how to present myself a l o t b e t t e r which r e a l l y helped." "Uh..Barkel word p r o c e s s i n g . I enjoyed t h a t . . . so I got i n t o that and s t a r t e d r i g h t away on that Monday morning without r e a l l y r e a l i z i n g what I was doing., or what i t was and..um.. I enjoyed i t " R a i s i n g Family T h i s c a t e g o r y i n c l u d e d a l l comments r e l a t i n g p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g s around r a i s i n g c h i l d r e n . (52) Range Most of the s u b j e c t s i n t h i s c a t e g o r y r e f e r r e d to r a i s i n g c h i l d r e n of four years of age or l e s s . S e v e r a l respondents mentioned f e e l i n g of f u l f i l l m e n t i n being present d u r i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n s ' f i r s t two years and p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n developments such as t h e i r c h i l d r e n s * l e a r n i n g t o walk or t a l k . Others mentioned becoming c l o s e r to t h e i r o l d e r c h i l d r e n and having more time t o a t t e n d t o t h e i r needs. (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 7 or 35 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 12) I l l u s t r a t i o n " I t ' s March. The baby's b o r n . . . h i g h l i g h t of my l i f e . I'm a mo t h e r . . . e x c e l l e n t . " "So what e l s e were high p o i n t s - my daughter walking - my daughter b a s i c a l l y a l l the way through. I want to be with her so i n some ways t h a t r e a l l y tempered the unemployment and being on welfare - I f e l t l u c k y i n a l o t of ways because I know a l o t of people who leave t h e i r babies when they're 4 months o l d to go back to work because they want to have a c e r t a i n standard of l i v i n g f o r themselves and t h e i r c h i l d r e n " . R e l i e v e d To Leave Job T h i s c a t e g o r y c o n s i s t s of s u b j e c t s ' r e p o r t s of d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n a t t h e i r jobs which l e d to them f e e l i n g r e l i e v e d when they q u i t or were r e l e a s e d . (53) Range There was a f a i r l y wide range of experiences i n t h i s c a t e g o r y as the members had d i v e r s e d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s with t h e i r previous employment. These d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s i n c l u d e d e x c e s s i v e working hours, d i f f i c u l t i e s with s u p e r v i s o r s , e x c e s s i v e t r a v e l time to and from work, sexual harassment and general job burnout. (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 7 or 35 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 9) I l l u s t r a t i o n " R e l i e f more than anything e l s e . At t h a t time I was working a t l e a s t ten hours a day, u s u a l l y was i n a t l e a s t s i x days a week. Sometimes on the seventh day I'd come i n f o r maybe a h a l f day. Morale had j u s t completely f a l l e n a p a r t . Yah. I was j u s t g l a d to be out of what had been a good s i t u a t i o n t h a t was t u r n i n g u g l i e r and u g l i e r everyday." "I had to work at Metrotown here and t h a t took a long time to get to work so t h a t kind of bummed me out. Then I got l a i d o f f and I f e l t okay f o r a l i t t l e while cause I d i d need a break." Happy With Job T h i s i s the o n l y p o s i t i v e c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t c a t e g o r y t h a t c o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d a "pre-unemployment" category. I t r e f e r s to s u b j e c t s ' s a t i s f a c t i o n with s p e c i f i c jobs that they h e l d . (54) Range About h a l f the members of t h i s category were pleased with the f a c t t h a t they had r e s p o n s i b l e p o s i t i o n s where they were l a r g e l y unsupervised . Two respondents reported p a r t i c u l a r s a t i s f a c t i o n with the wages they were e a r n i n g . Another was pleased t h a t he was f i n a l l y u s i n g the s k i l l s t h a t he had been e a r l i e r t r a i n e d f o r . (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 7 or 35 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 10) I l l u s t r a t i o n "I was doing something I r e a l l y enjoyed. I found I had some hidden t a l e n t s I d i d n ' t know I had. I l i k e d the people I was working with. There wasn't any r e a l pressure on the job.. I was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r my own work. I wasn't being s u p e r v i s e d c o n s t a n t l y . I was given some c r e d i t f o r having some b r a i n s and I l i k e d i t . " "I got a l o t of s a t i s f a c t i o n from the job I was doing because i t was a h i g h l y s k i l l e d job. I was t r a i n e d f o r i t and I f e l t I belonged because I had a l o t of other s k i l l s t h a t went with the job as commercial p r i n t e r , commercial a r t i s t and d r a f t i n g . I t was a l l combined. E v e r y t h i n g was a l l combined i n s i g n w r i t i n g . I was even doing s i g n s a t t h i s p o i n t as w e l l as d r a f t i n g . I t was a v e r y a l l around job. I wasn't stuck i n one l i t t l e p o s i t i o n , i n one l i t t l e o f f i c e , so I was t r a v e l l i n g . " (55) Supported By F r i e n d s T h i s c a t e g o r y i n c l u d e s a number of types of support such as ad v i c e , emotional support and f i n a n c i a l support. Range Most of the responses i n t h i s c a t e g o r y d e a l t with emotional support. These s u b j e c t s reported t h a t the support of f r i e n d s was p a r t i c u l a r l y important when they were f e e l i n g depressed about t h e i r job s e a r c h and/or l i f e s t y l e . One member reported that she had f r i e n d s she c o u l d r e l y on when she was i n a f i n a n c i a l p inch. Another mentioned t h a t i t was h e l p f u l to get f r i e n d s ' advice i n regards t o s e t t l i n g i n a new c i t y . (Number of people mentioning t h i s f a c t o r : 7 or 35 %, number of i n c i d e n t s : 10) I l l u s t r a t i o n "Things were l o o k i n g up. I had some r e a l l y good f r i e n d s , who are s t i l l v e r y good f r i e n d s . I made some good f r i e n d s a t the r e s t a u r a n t and I was f e e l i n g v e r y p o s i t i v e , f e e l i n g more p o s i t i v e about my l i f e than I had f o r sometime cause I'd gone through a long p e r i o d of d e p r e s s i o n beforehand." "Another high p o i n t was when I got back to Vancouver to see my f r i e n d s . " (56) P/T Or Temporary Work/Income Some s u b j e c t s were able to secure part-time or temporary work i n the midst of t h e i r unemployment. T h i s ca t e g o r y r e f e r s to s u b j e c t s ' p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g s around s e c u r i n g and/or m a i n t a i n i n g t h i s employment. Range Three of the members of t h i s c a t e g o r y i n d i c a t e d t h a t the p a r t time or temporary work provided them with much needed income. One member had very p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g s about her temporary job as she p a r t i c u l a r l y enjoyed the work. Another r e p o r t e d f e e l i n g pleased t h a t he s u c c e s s f u l l y secured employmnet, even though i t wasn't the f u l l time, permanent type of p o s i t i o n he was hoping f o r . I l l u s t r a t i o n " I t was o n l y temporary but i t was a job t h a t I enjoyed. I would say that t h a t was p r e t t y good. That went along from December /8 5 to J u l y /86. That was a good time. I l i k e d t h a t job. I enjoyed going to work. I went i n e a r l y . I'd s t a y l a t e . " "I d i d n ' t keep track of what I made but I t h i n k I probably made between $100 to $200 e x t r a a month, which r e a l l y came i n handy. I t r e a l l y r a i s e d our standard of l i v i n g , i t was g r e a t l " (57) Summary Of The Experience For the m a j o r i t y of the respondents, the experience of unemployment co u l d be best d e s c r i b e d as a " f l a t " experience with r e l a t i v e l y few highs and a c o n t i n u a l , p e r v a s i v e s t r i n g of lows. I t i s not marked by a s i g n i f i c a n t downward swing upon job l o s s and the m a j o r i t y , i n f a c t , do not seem to have a t y p i c a l "job l o s s " e xperience. In c o n t r a s t t o the "worker l a i d o f f by the m i l l " , the f i r e d e x e c u t i v e or the disenchanted employee who q u i t s , many of the respondents have problems even r e c a l l i n g what t h e i r l a s t " r e a l " job was. In many cases, repondents have had long h i s t o r i e s of temporary, p a r t time and/or c a s u a l work that they never expected to r e t a i n . Other respondents were involved i n a c c i d e n t s or m a r i t a l break ups t h a t f o r c e d them out of the workforce and occupied t h e i r time and a t t e n t i o n . As a r e s u l t , the m a j o r i t y of those interviewed do not appear to have ever g r i e v e d t h e i r most re c e n t job l o s s . C l e a r l y , the most prominent aspect of the p a r t i c i p a n t s ' experience i s the s t r e s s and t e n s i o n they encounter due to f i n a n c i a l h a r d s h i p . T h i s f a c t o r , i n f a c t , was mentioned almost three times as f r e q u e n t l y as any other category (See Table 2). In a d d i t i o n t o being r e p e a t e d l y expressed as a source of t e n s i o n , i t a l s o was seen to be a c a t a l y s t f o r other "downward p u l l s " such as f a m i l y f r i c t i o n , l o s s of s e l f esteem, i n a b i l i t y t o provide f o r (58) f a m i l y , f e e l i n g misunderstood by f r i e n d s and d e p r e s s i o n a s s o c i a t e d with Christmas and w i n t e r . Although job search f r u s t r a t i o n was mentioned as a f a c t o r by of those i n t e r v i e w e d , job search does not seem to be a source of emotional swings. Instead, roost respondents seemed to have, f o r a l l i n t e n t s and purposes, g i v e n up on f i n d i n g work and have r e s t r i c t e d t h e i r job search to o c c a s i o n a l l y responding to newspaper ads. Moreover, not a s i n g l e respondent r e p o r t e d a "promising job i n t e r v i e w " or "hot job p r o s p e c t " as a p o s i t i v e c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t . In summary, most respondents r e p o r t e d an unemployment experience marked by v a r y i n g degrees of d e p r e s s i o n . I t was c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a c o n t i n u a l s t r u g g l e to f i n a n c i a l l y meet s u r v i v a l needs, pessimism r e g a r d i n g being a b l e to g a i n employment, low s e l f esteem and a b a t t e r y of negative f e e l i n g s around being on w e l f a r e . With the e x c e p t i o n of j o i n i n g a course or employment t r a i n i n g programs, i t i s an experience v i r t u a l l y devoid of s i g n i f i c a n t and/or l a s t i n g p o s i t i v e emotional s h i f t s . (59) CHAPTER V Summary and C o n c l u s i o n T h i s study i n v e s t i g a t e d the experience of unemployment f o r S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s aged 25 - 44. The r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e t h a t the experience i s not r e a d i l y d i v i d e d i n t o c l e a r stages or segments, but i s r a t h e r best represented as predominantly depressed experience o c c a s i o n a l l y i n t e r r u p t e d by f l e e t i n g high p o i n t s . T h i s chapter w i l l present a d i s c u s s i o n of the study's t h e o r e t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s , i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r c o u n s e l l i n g , l i m i t a t i o n s of the study and i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h . T h e o r e t i c a l I m p l i c a t i o n s Feather and Bond (1983) and Tiggeman and W i n e f i e l d (1984) found a c o r r e l a t i o n between unemployment and low s e l f esteem and high d e p r e s s i v e a f f e c t . These f i n d i n g s were confirmed by the r e s u l t s of t h i s study which demonstrated a high d e p r e s s i v e a f f e c t among our sample group and a l s o pointed t o a low l e v e l of s e l f esteem r e p o r t e d by over 40% of respondents. (60) Koraarovsky (1971) and Brathwaite (1983) rep o r t e d unemployment as having adverse e f f e c t s upon f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Although f a m i l y and/or m a r i t a l c o n f l i c t was i d e n t i f i e d by 50 % of respondents, i t was not normally e a s i l y t r a c e d to the respondents' unemployment. Rather, i t was o f t e n s t a t e d as a f a c t o r t h a t remained constant throughout employment and unemployment and, i n some cases, even caused the unemployment i t s e l f . A number of authors have pointed to the u t i l i t y of examining the experience of the unemployed i n terms of d i s t i n c t sub-groups as opposed to d i s c u s s i n g the unemployed as a homogeneous c l a s s . Tiggeman and W i n e f i e l d (1987) s i n g l e d out s u b j e c t s who lack s u c c e s s f u l previous employment, Jahoda (1983) c o n t r a s t e d blue and white c o l l a r workers and Amundson and Borgen (1987) s p e c i f i e d a number of sub-groups i n c l u d i n g primary vs. secondary wage earne r s , immigrants, youth and sudden vs. a n t i c i p a t e d job l o s s . The c o n c l u s i o n of Amundson and Borgen (1987) t h a t d i s t i n c t sub-groups w i l l have d i s t i n c t r e a c t i v e p a t t e r n s to unemployment i s borne out by t h i s study. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , i t i s c l e a r t h a t the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s study do not experience the swings of emotion found i n the "emotional r o l l e r c o a s t e r s " r e p o r t e d by the i n d i v i d u a l s from other sub-groups interviewed by Borgen and Amundson (1984). T h i s d i s t i n c t i o n i s f u r t h e r u n d e r l i n e d by the c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t s t h a t are prominent i n the experience of S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s t h a t are l i k e l y to be non-existent or l e s s (61) pronounced i n other sub-groups such as i n a b i l i t y t o meet " s u r v i v a l " f i n a n c a l needs (e.g. food, s h e l t e r , c l o t h i n g , u t i l i t i e s ) , i n a b l i l i t y to provide f o r f a m i l y , shame/depression around being on welfare, f e e l i n g d i s c r i m i n a t e d a g a i n s t , f e e l i n g unmarketable and c o n t a c t with the M i n i s t r y of S o c i a l S e r v i c e s and Housing. T h i s p a t t e r n a l s o confirms the c o n c l u s i o n s of Hepworth (1979) and Jahoda (1983) that o c c u p a t i o n a l groups background can be a p r e d i c t o r of unemployment experience i n that i n d i v i d u a l s of blue c o l l a r backgrounds tend to have g r e a t e r d i f f i c u l t y m a i n t a i n i n g a s o c i a l network d u r i n g unemployment and have a u n i f o r m i l y negative experience. Although support by f r i e n d s was mentioned as a p o s i t i v e f a c t o r by 35 % of the respondents of t h i s study, i t was prominent i n the experience of o n l y a s i n g l e repondent who was 1 of 3 respondents who had a white c o l l a r o c c u p a t i o n a l background. As e a r l i e r suspected i n t h i s study, the lack of continuous employment h i s t o r y on the part of the m a j o r i t y of respondents caused t h e i r experience of unemployment to vary from the model proposed by Amundson & Borgen (1982). Put simply, one i s h a r d l y going to experience " g r i e v i n g " stages i f one has not experienced an i d e n t i f i a b l e l o s s . I f the respondents experienced enthusiasm i n regards to t h e i r job search, i t was c e r t a i n l y not apparent i n the t e x t of (62) these i n t e r v i e w s . I t i s p o s s i b l e , however, that any optimism and/or enthusiasm t h a t they experienced was so d i s t a n t i n t h e i r minds and f l e e t i n g i n nature that i t d i d not have s u f f i c i e n t impact to be mentioned by respondents as a p o s i t i v e c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t . Much c l e a r e r , however, was the extent to which respondents experienced the l a t t e r three stages of the aforementioned model. F r u s t r a t i o n with job search was the second most frequent negative c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t . Respondents seemed very e a s i l y f r u s t r a t e d and discouraged by job search r e j e c t i o n s and seemed haunted by low s e l f esteem, f e e l i n g s of being d i s c r i m i n a t e d a g a i n s t and f e e l i n g t h a t they had no marketable s k i l l s to o f f e r to the labour market. It was c l e a r t h a t the m a j o r i t y of respondents' job search had stagnated to the p o i n t t h a t apathy had indeed set i n and that very few respondents were undergoing anything more than very s p o r a d i c job search a c t i v i t i e s a t the time the interviews took p l a c e . As i l l u s t r a t e d i n Table 2, the most prominent f a c t o r i n the experience of unemployment f o r t h i s s u b j e c t group was f i n a n c i a l p r e s s u r e s , c o n f i r m i n g the f i n d i n g s of Amundson and Borgen (1987) and F r o h l i c h (1983). I t should be emphasized that t h e i r f i n a n c i a l pressures are v e r y d i s t i n c t from the pressures experienced by d i s p l a c e d middle or high income earners who f i n d they have to a d j u s t t h e i r standard of l i v i n g and expect fewer (63) " l u x u r i e s " . Rather, the respondents of t h i s study r e p o r t immense d i f f i c u l t i e s i n meeting b a s i c s u r v i v a l needs such as food, s h e l t e r , and c l o t h i n g f o r themselves and t h e i r f a m i l i e s . T h i s f a c t o r stood out very prominently as a constant and p e r v a s i v e source of time consumption, f r u s t r a t i o n , d e p r e s s i o n and anger among the g r e a t m a j o r i t y of respondents. In d i s c u s s i n g the prominence of f i n a n c i a l pressures among t h i s s u b j e c t group, i t i s u s e f u l to examine t h i s f a c t o r w i t h i n the context of Maslow's (1968) " h i e r a r c h y of needs". T h i s model s t i p u l a t e s t h a t p h y s i o l o g i c a l and s a f e t y needs must be s a t i s f i e d before "higher l e v e l " needs such as love and belonging, esteem needs and s e l f a c t u a l i z a t i o n can be f u l f i l l e d . Within t h i s context, i t i s c l e a r t h a t the S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s i n t h i s study cannot hope to r e s o l v e the emotional and p s y c h o l o g i c a l i s s u e s and/or d e f i c i t s i n t h e i r l i v e s as long as they are i n v o l v e d i n a c o n t i n u a l s t r u g g l e j u s t to meet t h e i r b a s i c p h y s i c a l s u r v i v a l needs. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , t h i s p l a c e s many of these s u b j e c t s i n a " v i c i o u s c i r c l e " as the lower t h e i r f e e l i n g s of s e l f esteem and p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l being a r e , the more d i f f i c u l t i t i s f o r them to summon up the energy to conduct a job s e a r c h . F u r t h e r , t h e i r s p o r a d i c job search a c t i v i t i e s are l i k e l y sabotaged by t h e i r low l e v e l s of s e l f esteem as t h i s i s bound to a d v e r s e l y a f f e c t t h e i r s e l f p r e s e n t a t i o n to p o t e n t i a l employers. (64) In a number of s t u d i e s , Amundson and Borgen (1984,1985,1987) po i n t to group employment c o u n s e l l i n g as a p a r t i c u l a r y h e l p f u l f a c t o r In working with the unemployed. T h i s f i n d i n g i s c l e a r l y v e r i f i e d i n t h i s study as the most, prominent p o s i t i v e c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t i s j o i n i n g an employment t r a i n i n g course or program. Th i s f a c t o r was mentioned by 55% of respondents. I n t e r e s t i n g l y , most respondents who mentioned j o i n i n g an employment t r a i n i n g course or program as a h i g h l i g h t were not s p e c i f i c as to why t h i s was a p o s i t i v e s h i f t f o r them. Though one may have expected respondents to see these programs as i n c r e a s i n g t h e i r p r o b a b i l i t y of g a i n i n g employment or t r a i n i n g them f o r more s k i l l e d , higher paying jobs, such f a c t o r s were on l y mentioned by p a r t i c i p a n t s i n a couple of i n c i d e n t s . Instead, i t seems that most respondents saw j o i n i n g a course or program as a p o s i t i v e s t e p but c o u l d n ' t say e x a c t l y why t h i s was so. As mentioned e a r l i e r , Borgen and Amundson (1984) found T o f f l e r ' s (1980) c a t e g o r i z a t i o n of human needs to be extremely r e l e v a n t i n the a n a l y s i s of the unemployment experience. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the authors found that the three g e n e r a l c a t e g o r i e s of "community, meaning and s t r u c t u r e " were h e l p f u l i n understanding the needs of the unemployed. T h i s c a t e g o r i z a t i o n can, i n f a c t , e x p l a i n the a t t r a c t i v e n e s s of employment t r a i n i n g programs and/or courses to the s u b j e c t s of t h i s study. These programs tend to o f f e r t h e i r p a r t i c i p a n t s a sense of community as (65) they are qrouped with peers who are i n s i m i l a r circumstances and can o f f e r understanding, acceptance and support. They o f f e r meaning as the p a r t i c i p a n t s are engaged i n p u r p o s e f u l a c t i v i t y and have a more d e f i n e d and d e s i r a b l e s t a t u s as a r e s u l t of being " t r a i n e e s " . F i n a l l y , these programs o f f e r t h e i r p a r t i c i p a n t s a sense of s t r u c t u r e v e r y s i m i l a r to that of paid employment as program hours u s u a l l y c l o s e l y r e p l i c a t e standard working hours. Although the s u b j e c t s of t h i s study d i d not seem to be aware of the s p e c i f i c reasons t h a t j o i n i n g programs or courses were h i g h l i g h t s of t h e i r unemployment experience, i t i s l i k e l y t h a t the aforementioned f a c t o r s were at l e a s t p a r t l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h i s dynamic. I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r C o u n s e l l i n g In d i s c u s s i n g i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r c o u n s e l l i n g , i t should f i r s t be c o n s i d e r e d t h a t c o u n s e l l o r s are members of the l a r g e r s o c i e t y they r e s i d e i n and, as such, o f t e n share i t s misconceptions as w e l l as i t b e l i e f s and v a l u e s . In the case of the manner i n which s o c i e t y views the S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t , there are a number of misconceptions. One of the misconceptions t h a t t h i s study s t r o n g l y r e f u t e s i s the d e p i c t i o n of the welfare r e c i p i e n t as "too l a z y t o work" and/or "not minding being on w e l f a r e " . I t i s c l e a r from t h i s study that the respondents had extremely (66) negative f e e l i n g s around being on welfare and i n t e n s e l y wanted to become members of working s o c i e t y . C o u n s e l l o r s should be aware of t h e i r own image of welfare r e c i p i e n t s , be prepared to ch a l l e n g e t h i s image when a p p r o p r i a t e and be aware of the intense negative f e e l i n g s t h e i r c l i e n t s have around being on welfare. In order f o r a p o s i t i v e , t r u s t i n g c l i e n t - c o u n s e l l o r r e l a t i o n s h i p to emerge, i t i s important that the c o u n s e l l o r a v o i d c a r r y i n g such negative misconceptions surrounding welfare r e c i p i e n t s i n t o the c o u n s e l l i n g s e s s i o n . I t i s a l s o important that the c o u n s e l l o r have as thorough an understanding as p o s s i b l e of the i s s u e s that are most p r e s s i n g to t h i s t a r g e t group. The s u b j e c t s of t h i s study responded overwhelmingly that t h e i r most p r e s s i n g issue was f i n a n c i a l p r e s s u r e s . Although c o u n s e l l o r s may be l i m i t e d i n the extent t o which they can ease t h e i r c l i e n t s ' f i n a n c i a l pressures, they can at l e a s t take care to provide t h e i r c l i e n t s with the forum t o openly and completely express t h e i r experience. I t seems that many c o u n s e l l o r s working with t h i s p o p u l a t i o n tend t o supress d i s c u s s i o n s of finances as there i s l i t t l e the c o u n s e l l o r can do to remedy the s i t u a t i o n . T h i s tendency f a i l s t o recognize the c l i e n t s ' need to have t h e i r experience heard and v a l i d a t e d and can serve t o o b s t r u c t the achievment of c o u n s e l l i n g o b j e c t i v e s . In p r o v i d i n g c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s to t h i s group, the r e s u l t s of t h i s study suggest t h a t a group format i s most a p p r o p r i a t e to (67) these c l i e n t s ' needs. As mentioned e a r l i e r i n t h i s study, " j o i n i n g an employment t r a i n i n g program or course" was the most prominent p o s i t i v e c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t i n the respondents' experience of unemployment. When one c o n s i d e r s that the m a j o r i t y of respondents r e p o r t e d f e e l i n g low s e l f esteem, shame of being on welfare and/or f e e l i n g s of being d i s c r i m i n a t e d a g a i n s t , i t i s understandable t h a t these c l i e n t s could d e r i v e a number of b e n e f i t s from involvement i n a program that provides them with the support and understanding of t h e i r peers. In d e s i g n i n g group i n t e r v e n t i o n s f o r t h i s p o p u l a t i o n , i t i s e s s e n t i a l t h a t the a c t i v i t i e s go beyond the d e l i v e r y of t e c h n i c a l , job f i n d i n g techniques and i n f o r m a t i o n . Although t h i s group can c e r t a i n l y b e n e f i t from such technigues and i n f o r m a t i o n , i t i s c l e a r from t h i s study that there are deeper needs t h a t need to be addressed i n order f o r the c l i e n t s to undertake s u c c e s s f u l job searches. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the s u b j e c t s present themselves as mired i n v a r y i n g degrees of d e p r e s s i o n , low s e l f esteem , lack of d i r e c t i o n , i s o l a t i o n and d e s p e r a t i o n . There should, t h e r e f o r e , be a number of a c t i v i t i e s designed to f o s t e r a sense of group support and to a s s i s t c l i e n t s i n r a i s i n g t h e i r l e v e l s of s e l f esteem and hopefulness. As suggested by Amundson and Borgen (1987), i t would be u s e f u l to teach c l i e n t s " c o g n i t i v e retraining" i n order to enable them t o view t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s more p o s i t i v e l y . In order to a s s i s t c l i e n t s i n a t t a i n i n g g r e a t e r senses of d i r e c t i o n i n t h e i r l i v e s , (68) i t would be extremely u s e f u l to i n c l u d e a "career p l a n n i n g " component i n which the c l i e n t c o u l d s e t s h o r t and long term v o c a t i o n a l g o a l s . T h i s component c o u l d a l s o be u s e f u l i n pr e v e n t i n g "desperation s t y l e job searches" which could r e s u l t i n c l i e n t s seeking employment for which they are i l l s u i t e d . Another f i n d i n g of t h i s study i s t h a t the respondents' negative experiences seem to be long term and c h r o n i c i n nature. Given t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , i t i s u n l i k e l y t h at even the most dynamic and competent group c o u n s e l l o r can hope to e r a d i c a t e the c l i e n t s ' emotional and p s y c h o l o g i c a l b a r r i e r s to employment i n the t y p i c a l l y b r i e f d u r a t i o n of a course or program. For t h i s reason, i t i s a d v i s a b l e to b u i l d a f o l l o w up component i n t o programs i n which the c o u n s e l l o r can maintain c o n t a c t with the c l i e n t f o r a longer p e r i o d of time. In t h i s way, the c o u n s e l l o r can provide c o n t i n u i n g support and can a l s o help the c l i e n t "bridge the gap" between the s k i l l s d e l i v e r e d i n the classroom s e t t i n g and the r e a l i t i e s of the work s e t t i n g . F i n a l l y , t h i s study points to the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s aged 25-44 as a d i s t i n c t group with c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and needs that s e t i t a p a r t from other unemployed groups. T h i s c o n c l u s i o n r e i n f o r c e s the wisdom of the recent "SAR" agreements drawn up between Canada Employment and Immigration Commission and a number of Canada's p r o v i n c i a l governments. These agreements c a l l f o r the development and (69) o p e r a t i o n of programs s p e c i f i c a l l y designed to a s s i s t S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s i n a c h i e v i n g a s u c c e s s f u l t r a n s i t i o n t o employment. I f these programs b u i l d i n aforementioned components such as group support, a f f e c t i v e as w e l l as c o g n i t i v e l e a r n i n g o b j e c t i v e s , c a r e e r p l a n n i n g and long term f o l l o w up support, they w i l l most c e r t a i n l y be a ste p i n the r i g h t d i r e c t i o n i n addre s s i n g a c r i t i c a l s o c i e t a l and human i s s u e . L i m i t a t i o n s of the Study The r e s u l t s of t h i s study are based upon a sample of S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s of mixed gender, m a r i t a l s t a t u s , and e d u c a t i o n a l and o c c u p a t i o n a l background. Each s u b j e c t was a r e s i d e n t of the B r i t i s h Columbian Lower Mainland. The mean age of the sample i s 35 years o l d . I t i s q u i t e p o s s i b l e that a sample l i m i t e d to a p a r t i c u l a r m a r i t a l s t a t u s , e d u c a t i o n a l background or o c c u p a t i o n a l background would have y i e l d e d d i f f e r e n t r e s u l t s . D i f f e r e n t r e s u l t s may a l s o be y i e l d e d from a sample of s u b j e c t s under 25 years of age or from a sample of s u b j e c t s over 44 years of age. As the study was conducted i n Greater Vancouver, i t i s a l s o p o s s i b l e t h a t the r e s u l t s r e f l e c t an "urban experience". I t would t h e r e f o r e be i n s t r u c t i v e to r e p l i c a t e the study i n a r u r a l (70) s e t t i n g . There may a l s o be r e g i o n a l d i f f e r e n c e s w i t h i n Canada not o n l y due to c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s (e.g. Northern Quebec, New-Foundland) but a l s o due to v a r y i n g l e v e l s of unemployment. At the time of w r i t i n g , there i s a higher l e v e l of unemployment i n Newfoundland than i n B r i t i s h Columbia and a lower l e v e l of unemployment i n Greater Toronto than i n Greater Vancouver. These l e v e l s of unemployment co u l d e a s i l y a f f e c t the experience of the unemployed as r e s i d e n t s of regions of higher unemployment co u l d l o s e hope more e a s i l y than r e s i d e n t s of regions with lower unemployment. Another l i m i t a t i o n of t h i s study l i e s i n the manner i n which the sample was drawn. Each of the study's p a r t i c i p a n t s were i n v o l v e d on the b a s i s of t h e i r r e g i s t e r i n g f o r a s p e c i f i c employment program. Although these s u b j e c t s had not yet s t a r t e d when they p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s study, a study of a group of S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s not r e g i s t e r e d i n a program may y i e l d d i f f e r e n t r e s u l t s . As p a r t i c i p a n t s i n a government funded program, i t i s a l s o p o s s i b l e t h a t c l i e n t s were not f u l l y d i s c l o s i n g i n a few areas of t h e i r experience. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , there were v e r y i n f r e g u e n t mentions of t h e i r l i v e s being a f f e c t e d by a l c o h o l consumption. As they became i n v o l v e d i n the program, however,the m a j o r i t y of p a r t i c i p a n t s c o n f i d e d t h i s aspect of t h e i r l i v e s to program c o u n s e l l o r s . S i m i l a r l y , only one respondent mentioned " i l l e g a l (71) e a r n i n g s " as a c r i t i c a l i n c i d e n t d e s p i t e the p r o b a b i l i t y t h a t a s i g n i f i c a n t percentage of the sample group engaged i n such a c t i v i t i e s . I t i s a l s o l i k e l y t h a t a number of s u b j e c t s were l e s s than candid i n t h e i r c r i t i c i s m of t h e i r welfare workers as i t was these workers who o f t e n r e f e r r e d them to the program and, d e s p i t e v e r b a l and w r i t t e n assurances to the c o n t r a r y , s u b j e c t s may have doubted the c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y of the taped i n t e r v i e w s . I m p l i c a t i o n s For Further Research The r e s u l t s of t h i s p r e l i m i n a r y study p o i n t to the value of f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i n t o the experience of unemployment of S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s . A study u t i l i z i n g q u a n t i t a t i v e measures and l a r g e samples c o u l d add to our understanding of the phenomenon. More s p e c i f i c s t u d i e s would a l s o be warranted as there are a number of d i s t i n c t sub-groups w i t h i n the large category of S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s . Examples of such sub-groups are immigrants, s i n g l e parents, post-secondary graduates, "white c o l l a r " s u b j e c t s , i l l i t e r a t e s , e x - o f f e n d e r s , youth and s u b j e c t s over 45 years of age. F u r t h e r , i t would be worthwhile to conduct a study that c o u l d compare the experiences of s h o r t and long term S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e R e c i p i e n t s . A more l o n g i t u d i n a l study would a l s o be d e s i r a b l e . Such a study could s t r i v e to measure the impact of s e v e r a l f a c t o r s on (72) the s u b j e c t s ' experience of unemployment. For example, i t c o u l d examine the extent to which j o i n i n g an employment t r a i n i n g program a f f e c t s the s u b j e c t s ' d e p r e s s i v e a f f e c t and s e l f esteem. E q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t l y , the study c o u l d measure the d u r a t i o n of these e f f e c t s f o l l o w i n g the s u b j e c t s ' graduation from the program and throughout t h e i r post-program employment and/or job search. One aspect of t h i s study i s t h a t the experience of unemployment i s r e p o r t e d s o l e l y throught the eyes of the s u b j e c t s themselves. I t would be u s e f u l f o r a f u r t h e r study to i n t e r v i e w other i n d i v i d u a l s t h a t may provide other I n s i g h t s i n t o the s u b j e c t s ' experiences such as program c o u n s e l l o r s , f a m i l y members, " s i g n i f i c a n t o t h e r s " and M i n i s t r y S o c i a l workers. (73) CHAPTER VI References Adams, I., Cameron, W., H i l l , B. & Peng, P. 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Regaining d i g n i t y : an examination of the c o s t of b a s i c l i v i n g i n the lower mainland and the adequacy of income a s s i s t a n c e r a t e s i n December, 1985. Vancouver: S o c i a l P l a n n i n g and Research C o u n c i l of B.C. (79) Liem, R. & Rayman, P. (1984), P e r s p e c t i v e s on unemployment, mental h e a l t h , and s o c i a l p o l i c y , I n t e r n a t i o n a l J o u r n a l of Mental He a l t h , 13, 3-17 Macarov, D. (1980). Work and w e l f a r e : the unholy a l l i a n c e . B e v e r l y H i l l s : Sage P u b l i c a t i o n s L t d . Macky, K. & Haines, H. (1982). The p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t s of unemployment: A review of the l i t e r a t u r e . New Zealand J o u r n a l of I n d u s t r i a l R e l a t i o n s , 7, 123-135. Manuele, C. (1984). 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The Canadian f a c t book on poverty-1983. Toronto: James Lorimer and Company. S t r e e t , D. (1981). The welfare i n d u s t r y : f u n c t i o n a r e s and r e c i p i e n t s i n p u b l i c a i d . Beverly H i l l s : Sage P u b l i c a t i o n s L t d . Swinburne, P. (1981). The p s y c h o l o g i c a l impact of unemployment on managers and p r o f e s s i o n a l s t a f f . J o u r n a l of Occupat i o n a l Psychology, 54, 47-64 Tiggemann & W i n e f i e l d 1984, The e f f e c t s of unemployment on the mood, s e l f - e s t e e m , locus of c o n t r o l , and d e p r e s s i v e a f f e c t of sch o o l l e a v e r s , J o u r n a l of Occupational Psychology, 57, 33-42 T o f f l e r , A. (1980). The t h i r d wave, New York: Bantam Books (81) U l l a h , P. & Banks, M. & Warr, P. (1985) . S o c i a l support, s o c i a l pressures and p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i s t r e s s d u r i n g unemployment, P s y c h o l o g i c a l Medicine, 15 283-295 Waxman, C. (1983). The Stigma of Poverty. Elmsford: Pertgammon Press Inc. W i n e f i e l d , M. & Tiggemann, A.H.(1985). P s y c h o l o g i c a l c o r r e l a t e s of employment and unemployment: E f f e c t s , p r e d i s p o s i n g f a c t o r s , and sex d i f f e r e n c e s . The B r i t i s h P s y c h o l o g i c a l S o c i e t y , 30, 229-242 Zawadski, B. & L a z a r s f e l d , P. (1935). The p s y c h l o g i c a l consequences of unemployment. J o u r n a l of S o c i a l Psychology, 6, 244-251. (82) APPENDIX A Sample Interview (83) Me: Could you t e l l me when and f o r who your l a s t job was? Him: I've been working with my f a t h e r o f f and on f o r s e v e r a l years but i t ' s v e r y l i m i t e d . He's had h i s own company and he's r e t i r e d and I've helped him out on l a r g e r jobs which i s v ery f a r i n between. Me: How long ago was i t that your l a s t job was? Him: Oh, gee. A year. Me: Okay. Can you think back t o when you r e a l i z e d a year ago th a t there wasn't going to be more work f o r you. Can you th i n k back to what your thoughts and f e e l i n g s were a t t h a t time when you had that r e a l i z a t i o n ? Him: When I r e a l i z e d the job s i t u a t i o n wasn't going t o be of any permanent source I was concerned. I've been l o o k i n g f o r other permanent work a l l t h i s . . . For years a c t u a l l y . Well, i t ' s a d i s g r u n t l e d f e e l i n g knowing t h a t you can't f i n d y o u r s e l f a permanent v o c a t i o n . Everybody l i k e s to be abl e to finance there own c o s t of l i v i n g . Which i s what i t i s . You can't do t h a t . L i k e . . . I've been on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e and s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e i s j u s t enough to s u r v i v e . You know. As f a r as t h a t matters you can't even buy a l l the food that you want. So... You know. I've been able t o f i n d l i t t l e jobs on the s i d e but i t doesn't t o t a l up to what an annual income should be a t a lower range. I guess most of us are a t a poverty l e v e l when you've been on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e . When you've been (84) a t p overty l e v e l I guess we're p r e t t y w e l l b e t t e r o££ than they are i n some p l a c e s . Our standards of l i v i n g i n Canada and North America are q u i t e high. Me: Can you think of any other thoughts and f e e l i n g s you had a year back from U.I.C.? You know. You were out of work completely. Him: I'm d i s g r u n t l e d with myself cause the age th a t I'm at now... I'm not a r e a l l y young person anymore. I've f i n i s h e d with my high school t r a i n i n g and c o l l e g e and a l l t h a t . You know. Time has gone by. I t seems...I've f e l t t h a t the o l d e r I get the l e s s chance I'm going t o get i n t o a permanent job and I've always been concerned about t h a t . What to do about i t . . . You know. I have taken a welding ocurse and I've taken a r e f r i g e r a t i o n course and n e i t h e r of them have panned out f o r me. Me: So you were q u i t e concerned a year ago. Him: Oh yeah. Not j u s t a year ago. L i k e , f o r a few years now. Me: There i s n ' t . . . If a... C o r r e c t me i f I'm wrong. But i t seems l i k e there i s n ' t j u s t one s p e c i f i c time when you s a i d , "I'm unemployed now". I t ' s a f e e l i n g that you've had f o r ye a r s . Him: S e v e r a l years a c t u a l l y . A c t u a l l y a l l through the e i g h t i e s i t ' s j u s t been temporary replacements and some of the jobs I have been, I took them because I needed the money but i t d i d n ' t do me any good a t a l l . I was... The wrong kind of work f o r me. Doing labor jobs and whatnot. I j u s t can't do (85) t h a t k ind of work anymore. You eat more and l o s e more weight than what you g a i n . I've got to f i n d something where I can be s a t i s f i e d and comfortable. Where I don't have to s t r a i n myself and to f i n d a job l i k e that with the work experience I've got i t ' s j u s t about impossible. Me: What has the l a s t year been l i k e f o r you? This past year. Him: L a s t year? J u s t , p r e t t y monotonous. I t ' s d i s a p p o i n t i n g , e s p e c i a l l y when Christmas comes around. Right. That seems to be the worst p a r t of the year. You haven't got any money i n the bank. You spend l o t s of time around the house. You know. There's j u s t no f u l f i l l m e n t and s a t i s f a c t i o n of doing anything. What have I got to show f o r a n y t h i n g I've done. Right? Me: So Christmas as a p a r t i c u l a r i l y hard time f o r you? Him: Yah. You know. As f a r as I'm concerned I j u s t as soon c a n c e l i t but you can't do that because i t ' s f a m i l y . Right? I won't be a hermit I guess. There's a l o t of f e e l i n g s come with being unemployed. You tend to think of a l o t more negative f e e l i n g s and thoughts. Cause, l i k e I say, d u r i n g the day you're not accomplishing anything. You haven't...What do you do? Me: What kind of negative thoughts? Him: Well, i t ' s j u s t f u l f i l l m e n t thoughts. You cut y o u r s e l f down. Concern about the present and a c t u a l l y the f u t u r e . Right? I t ' s t h a t there are people going out and doing t h i n g s . They work a l l day. I f i t takes the time out of the (86) week, They're s a t i s f i e d and they can go out and enjoy themselves on the weekend. When your unemployed, you can't do those t h i n g s . You s i t around . You've got so much time o f f t h a t i t ' s t o r t u r e . That's a l i t t l e b i t extreme but i t c e r t a i n l y doesn't do you any good. Watch T.V. You know. That's no good. That r e a l l y puts you i n a r u t . Go out and do s t u f f c o s t s money. Can't, go out or go shopping or go pl a c e s or go f o r hikes and t h i n g s l i k e t h a t . That's l e i s u r e time. L e i s u r e time i s most a p p r e c i a t e d when you've been working. I t ' s your time o f f . But when you're unemployed e v e r y t h i n g i s time o f f . I t ' s no fun a t a l l . Oh, i t i s . And of course you get on the nerve with the r e s t of your f a m i l y members too, r i g h t ? We've a l s o been locked up i n p r i s o n . Me: So t h e r e ' s more d i f f i c u l t i e s with the f a m i l y because... Him: Oh yeah. D e f i n i t e l y . I t ' s not t h e i r f a u l t . I t r a d i a t e s from us a l l . Me: When you say f a m i l y , do you l i v e with your parents? Him: Yes. They l i v e u p s t a i r s . Me: Are you married? Him: No. S i n g l e Me: So the f a m i l y problems are with your parents. Him: Yeah. That's r i g h t . You know. Me: Brothers and s i s t e r s ? Him: W e l l . J u s t a l l b r o t h e r s . Yah. Well, one other brother l i v i n g u p s t a i r s . But l i k e you say, these problems a r i s e d (87) because you're s i t t i n g around and I guess you get on edge. You get t i r e d of hearing l i t t l e n i t t y p i c k y t h i n g s from our other f a m i l y members. You dont want to hear about i t . I t ' s g e t t i n g to be l i k e a soap opera type t h i n g . Right? You know. I f you were out d u r i n g the day, f o r e i g h t hours a day, you wouldn't have to l i s t e n to i t . You'd have more i n t e r e s t i n g t h i n g s to t a l k about. What kind of experience does i t take to be unemployed? Nothing happens. This i s n ' t the g r e a t e s t . And t r y to f i n d something to do on a zero budget. The o n l y t h i n g t h a t ' s l e f t to do r e a l l y i s maybe watch T.V. and l i k e I say, t h a t ' s no good e i t h e r . And I'm g e t t i n g p i l e s from s i t t i n g around too much. Me: I f you c o u l d t e l l your t a l e of unemployment, j u s t l i k e a s t o r y with a beginning, a middle and an end... The beginning would be when you were l a s t working and the middle would be becoming unemployed and then the end would be the job search a f t e r being unemployed f o r a while and you c o u l d f l e s h t h a t out by r e l a t i n g what your thoughts were throughout t h a t time, how would you t e l l t h a t s t o r y ? Him: Since I've l a s t been unemployed? Me: Yes. Since you were l a s t employed Him: W e l l . . . When you're coming to the poin t and r e a l i z i n g t h a t t h e r e ' s no more income coming i n and the b i l l s are s t i l l coming i n . . . I've had to extend c r e d i t . Having c r e d i t problems and debts on your mind...It's the f i r s t t h i n g t h a t (88) I r e a l i z e d i s t h a t I can't continue buying t h i n g s f o r my entertainment, my s t e r e o and T.V. That's got to come to a sto p . So I'm stuck with s t u f f from two years ago. And I've had to stop spending money and having personal t h i n g s that I l i k e t o keep around. That was the f i r s t r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t . . . Well, no more money. Going to s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e a f t e r a p e r i o d of time i s a l a s t r e s o r t . You have t o have money to e x i s t . I t ' s c e r t a i n l y not working and I d i d n ' t l i k e the idea of being on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e a t the time and I ended up beinq on i t f o r sometime. I think as every so many months went by, I was becoming probably more withdrawn and l o s i n g my m o t i v a t i o n . I f e l t that my m o t i v a t i o n was gone and I'd become almost l i k e molasses, l a z y . M o t i v a t i o n , I t h i n k , i s a b i g part of being unemployed. I t ' s j u s t an a c q u i r e d syndrom a f t e r a c e r t a i n p e r i o d of time and I r e a l i z e t h a t . A f t e r so many months have gone by and you s o r t o f . . . You know. You could k i c k y o u r s e l f i n the a s s . You make s p u r t s . You t r y f o r more attempts l o o k i n g out f o r jobs and then you get negative r e s u l t s and i t ' s j u s t a b i g d e p r e s s i o n again. This happened to me s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t times. So you go back and you j u s t say, "to h e l l with i t . " Right? You t r y to put your mind o f f of i t and think of anything e l s e t h a t you can do. Or maybe I can s t a r t my own business but then, f o r a person t h a t ' s got nothing to s t a r t a b u siness, i t ' s j u s t about an i m p o s s i b l i t y . The chances of (89) t h a t going on are probably more than one In a m i l l i o n . R i ght? Less than one i n a m i l l i o n . I've been unemployed f o r sometime now and my worker suggested to me d i f f e r e n t job t h i n g s . We're i n the process of moving. She mentioned t h i s Job Keep s e s s i o n , t h i s course t h a t ' s going on and she spoke to me about i t f o r sometime and i t r a i s e d my c u r i o s i t y . I thought r i g h t then and there t h a t t h i s i s something that I need cause my work h i s t o r y . . . My r e c o r d i s so s c a t t e r e d t h a t I can't even use i t on a resume. I t ' s . . I've got to have a new s t a r t . Who's going to h i r e somebody t h a t conies i n with a blank resume. You know. I c e r t a i n l y wouldn't. I put myself i n the employer's shoes. Right? You know. I've been l o o k i n g forward to t h i s c o u rse. I'd d i d n ' t think I would get accepted because one of the reasons i s I'm moving. And... That's a l l I have to say. Me: You were worried about not having a s t a b l e address which i s one of the requirements. Him: Yeah. R i g h t . Me: Where are you moving to? Him: Surrey. But t h a t ' s no problem cause I have my own t r a n s p o r t a t i o n . Me: You've got a car? Him: Yes. Me: During your unemployment... What I want you to do i s t h i n k (90) about what you would c o n s i d e r t o be your lowest p o i n t s . The s o r t of things t h a t brought you down. And i f you c o u l d s t a r t with the f i r s t low p o i n t t h a t you can remember, what e x a c t l y happened and why was that a d i f f i c u l t . . . Why was tha t d i f f i c u l t f o r you? Him: I think probably l a s t New Year's, two New Year's ago from t h i s date. I t ' s being i n v i t e d t o p a r t i e s and "Well, s o r r y , ah..." Well, I d i d n ' t put down the p a r t y a t t h a t time and I knew I wasn't going to go because I cou l d n ' t a f f o r d to go, which was f i n e . I was content enough a t home anyways. But I thi n k t h a t was probably the f i r s t example of f i n a n c i a l d i f f i c u l l t y , being unemployed. And then, of course, r e a l i z i n g t h a t I can't a f f o r d t o go out brought on a d e p r e s s i o n . Other people are going out and l i v i n g a normal l i f e and I'm not l i v i n g a normal l i f e . I think i t probably, as I say, l a s t New Year's that I r e a l i z e d t h a t . . . You know. I'm i n a l i t t l e b i t of a s t a t e here. Me: So i t was the New Year's Eve p a r t y that you s a i d no. You d e c l i n e d from i t . Him: I d e c l i n e d from i t because I j u s t c ouldn't a f f o r d t o . You know. That's j u s t one example o r . . . W e l l , I had to go out and buy c l o t h e s . A l l my socks have holes i n them. And I went out to buy some socks and I looked a t the p r i c e s of socks and I cou l d n ' t buy one p a i r . Me: That was tough. Him: Yeah. So I'm wearing h o l e l y socks r i g h t now. I mean... (91) My c l o t h e s are a l l . . . T h e y ' r e e a t i n g themselves away. I can't keep up my personal appearance l i k e my c l o t h e s cause I can't a f f o r d t o . I haven't gone t o welfare and asked f o r money e i t h e r . Me: Have you gone f o r the c l o t h i n g allowance f o r P r o j e c t Job Keep? Him: No. I haven't Me: That would be a good idea t o do. Who i s your worker? Him: Pam Morrison. She d i d mention something about that but I th i n k she was t a l k i n g about c l o t h e s f o r work. Me. Well, there's a l s o an allowance f o r c l o t h e s f o r being i n the p r o j e c t . So you should g i v e her a c a l l maybe t h i s a f t e r n o o n a f t e r our i n t e r v i e w . So you've mentioned the f i n a n c i a l p a r t s being d i f f i c u l t . Something t h a t was a r e a l low p o i n t ; not going to p a r t i e s , problems with c l o t h e s . Are there any other t h i n g s that you co u l d think of t h a t were r e a l low p o i n t s f o r you? Him: Well...Yeah. Another t h i n g too i s not j u s t f i n a n c i a l but spending so much time around the home. I've managed to get on my mother's nerves or she's gotten on my nerves which i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p I don't want to s p o i l and I r e a l i z e d that was because I'm not out f o r a good p a r t of the day. S t a t i c b u i l d s up between people when they're i n c l o s e q u a r t e r s . You know. I l i k e t o have my p r i v a c y and i n d i v i d u a l i t y but you lo s e t h a t when you spend a l o t of time a t home. Between....It adds up. D i f f e r e n t things....You can't help (92) but not thin k about i t . I'd have times to thin k about those t h i n g s i n the evening and when you t r y to go to s l e e p and you don't. So i t kind of d i s r u p t s my s l e e p and then i t ' s l i k e dominos, one c h i p f a l l s over and a l l the r e s t go with i t . I'd l i k e t o be abl e to have a normal happy l i f e l i k e the m a j o r i t y of people...I hope the m a j o r i t y of people have a happy l i f e . Or e l s e I w i l l be so d i s a p p o i n t e d . Me: So th e r e ' s the f i n a n c i a l part and there's a l s o the pa r t of being a t home a l l day with your other f a m i l y members and a l l the th i n g s t h a t go along with t h a t . Is there anything e l s e t h a t you can think of? Him: Well...You know. I t ' s j u s t l i k e I s a i d before. You know. I've had a d e c l i n e i n a l o t of outings and so f o r t h . Right? You know. There are s p e c i a l events. L i k e , we have long weekends and i t ' s n i c e to go out with people t h a t are going to go camping or go rent a b a l l o o n and go f l y i n g f o r the day or whatever. Right? You know. I t ' s s o c i a l entertainment. I t ' s d e f i n i t e withdrawal. I guess. You know. J u s t about anything t h a t you can think of f o r your own s o c i a l entertainment, you have to put a stop to i t . Me: Now I'd l i k e you to think of any high p o i n t s . Was there anything t h a t brought you up d u r i n g your time of being unemployed? What happened there and why were those h e l p f u l f o r you? Him: I can't ever t h i n k of anything t h a t brought me up except fo r the a r r i v a l of t h i s course. I t ' s the o n l y t h i n g t h a t ' s ( 9 3 ) ever g i v e n me any l i f t s i n c e I've been unemployed. I c a n ' t . . . There's no reason f o r . . . I can't think of anything r e a l l y . Me: You've t a l k e d about t h i s somewhat alr e a d y , but i t ' s the next q u e s t i o n so I might as w e l l ask you t h a t . From what you haven't mentioned, what has i t been l i k e on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e ? Him: Well, there I go a g a i n . I t ' s not...I think I d i d mention a l i t t l e b i t about t h a t . I t ' s not a pride...You c e r t a i n l y don't t e l l people about i t . You're dependent on a c e r t a i n amount of money once a month through other people's pocket, r e a l l y . I l i k e t o be an i n d i v i d u a l . I have an ego as I'm sure the m a j o r i t y of people do and i t ' s not nice having i t knocked down. Right? Me: So t h a t s been tough? Him: Yeah. I don't...Like I say, I don't, c e r t a i n l y . . . O t h e r people I hear t a l k i n g , "Well...Oh yah. I'm going to go and c o l l e c t my cheque and cash i t and go do t h i s and t h a t . " I don't have to add on t h a t . I mind I'm c o l l e c t i n g i t . Right? Me: That's not something you t e l l other people about. Him: Not a t a l l . I t ' s not something I'd probably d i s c u s s about. Me: Have you ever been on U.I.C.? Him: Yes. I've been on U.I.C. s e v e r a l years ago. Me: Can you t h i n k of any d i f f e r e n c e s between being on U.I.C. and being on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e ? (94) Him: U.I.C. was... Well....I know when I was on i t , i t helped between j o b s . I was doing heavier work and the jobs were a v a i l a b l e . L i k e i n the l a t e s e v e n t i e s and very e a r l y e i g h t i e s , there was qu i t e a b i t of work around t h a t I co u l d do and so I wasn't too concerned about the U.I.C. I was on l y on i t f o r s i x months a t a time and then another time, a f t e r a p e r i o d of time, I went to sc h o o l and I was ab l e to c o l l e c t U.I.C. while I went t o s c h o o l f o r a year, which r e a l l y paid o f f w e l l because I was going to c o l l e g e and I had money s t i l l f o r rent and f o r the course. So i t came i n r e a l l y handy. At the same time, I d i d b e n e f i t from i t . I d i d l e a r n some physics and welding and i t was a great o c c u p t i o n f o r that period of time. I t d i d me some good. But...As f a r as U.I.C. goes, I don't think i t . . . . I t should have i t ' s l i m i t s . Me: How was i t d i f f e r e n t for you being on U.I. versus being on welfare? Him: Well U.I. i s . . . I can say t h a t I worked f o r those pennies anyways. I t i s n ' t a d e f i n i t e . . . l i k e ... t h i s i s your r e t i r e m e n t . I t i s only a s h o r t p e r i o d t h a t you c o l l e c t i t and h o p e f u l l y , when you're on U . I . C , that you have work coming along i n a period of time. Your fumbling from a l a y - o f f or a job t r a n s f e r . I t h i n k , when you get to the p o i n t , when you're unemployed and there i s n ' t anymore work that you r e s o r t to welfare, i t ' s a d e f i n i t e statement t h a t , "Hey man. You're not working. You're not doing a n y t h i n g . (95) You're not going nowhere." W e l l . . . I guess another t h i n g i s to i s you look a t welfare and you look a t other people t h a t have been on i t f o r a l l t h e i r l i f e . You don't want to get doing t h a t . You don't want to get i n a r u t but a l o t of people have s a i d the same t h i n g . You know. Twenty, t h i r t y years ago and they don't want to get and they ended up f a l l i n g i n a r u t . I don't know what happened. They ended up down s k i d row and look a t these people. I think t h a t ' s the b i g g e s t nightmare. You wonder how these people get t h e r e . Right? What happened to them? P o s s i b l y i t can happen to anybody then. Me: So th e r e ' s a fear t h e r e . Him: Yeah. You get i n a r u t and never climb back out. Me: I t there anything e l s e you can say about being on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e ? Him: I t ' s no fun at a l l . I t ' s too bad the program couldn't be d i f f e r e n t somehow. I f there c o u l d be some kind of job c r e a t i o n i n welfare so i t would i n c r e a s e people's m o t i v a t i o n but not s l a v e , scummy labour e i t h e r . Me: Were you ever r e f e r r e d f o r any job program before t h i s one? Him: No I wasn't Me: And how long have you been on? Him: I've been on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e f o r probably two years now, o f f and on. I was o f f f o r sometime two years ago and I s t a r t e d r e c e i v i n g i t again l a s t winter. (96) Me: So, t h i s i s the f i r s t one you have been r e f e r r e d to? Hint: Yes. Me: Is there a n y t i n g e l s e you can say about your c o n t a c t with people a t welfare? Him: Well, the o n l y person I t a l k e d to a t the o f f i c e i s Pat M o r r i s s e y and she's n i c e . As f a r as going i n the o f f i c e , I don't even l i k e s i t t i n g there and having to wait around. I j u s t f e e l l i k e I'm p u t t i n g myself i n t o , " Well, here's another welfare case w a i t i n g f o r us." The t y p i c a l o l d doldrum, i n and out system. Right? I guess I don't want to pla c e myself i n t h a t standard and I'm t r y i n g t o a v o i d i t . But ah...Like I say...Obviously I haven't. I want to be s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t . I've got t h i n g s I want to do. Right? I want to b u i l d my own house. Right? That's a p r e t t y major dream f o r someone to say t h a t when you're on s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e . But... I guess t h a t ' s one escape. Me: What are you e x p e c t a t i o n s f o r the f u t u r e r i g h t now? Him Well, my e x p e c t a t i o n s i s i n c r e a s e d s i n c e I've been accepted i n t o t h i s course because now I f e e l t h a t I should have a f i g h t i n g chance to get back i n t o the workforce. Not j u s t get back i n the workforce but f i n d a job t h a t i s going to s u i t my p h y s i c a l and mental needs. Me: Your p h y s i c a l and mental needs. Would you have an idea what your e x p e c t a t i o n s f o r the f u t u r e would be i f i t wasn't f o r t h i s p r o j e c t ? (97) Him: I t ' s r e a l l y vague r i g h t now. A l l the other e x p e c t a t i o n s was t h a t h o p e f u l l y I'd be abl e t o come up with some kind of an idea that I c o u l d s e l l to somebody or c r e a t e my own company cause I am a t i n k e r e r , a l i t t l e i n v e n t i o n s maker. That's the o n l y t h i n g . But even then, t h a t ' s v e r y u n s t a b l e . You know, be abl e to d e f i n i t e l y p l a n on t h a t . I t ' s very u n s t a b l e . You know. As f a r as going out and being able t o f i n d a job r i g h t now, I don't th i n k I co u l d because I have to put myself i n the employer's shoes, "That guy's been out of work f o r a wh i l e . He's had a sketchy work past". There's so many other people out there t h a t are younger with a s o l i d s c h o o l and t r a i n i n g and background i n work. The odds are a g a i n s t me. Me: So, you weren't v e r y o p t i m i s t i c about i t ? Him: E x a c t l y . Yeah. You might say that my o n l y a l t e r n a t i v e i s th a t h o p e f u l l y I can crea t e my own bu s i n e s s . Me: The l a s t q u e s t i o n I have f o r you i s what we c a l l a l i f e l i n e . I ' l l show you what that i s . . I f t h i s c o u l d represent t h i s p o i n t i n time when you were l a s t working and t h i s would be r i g h t now and a l l t h i s i n between i s your l i f e , how would you draw t h i s l i n e ? Him: Well, t h e r e ' s a d e f i n i t e d i p . Me: Okay. Well, what I'd l i k e you to do i s be as d e t a i l e d as p o s s i b l e and put i n as much as you can. What were the ups (98) and what were the downs or i f there were j u s t downs, what were the downs? E x p l a i n as much as you can and I ' l l j u s t leave you. I ' l l go o u t s i d e f o r j u s t one second and I'd l i k e you to take your time with t h i s . Him: Well, I guess the best way would be to d i v i d e i t i n t o twelve, eh? Me: Okay. Whatever works f o r you. Him: I t w i l l probably be the best way. Me: Okay. Great. J u s t take your time with t h a t . Okay. So, there was no work f o r a while and then there was a b i g d i p . Him Yeah. I r e a l i z e d the i s s u e . Me: Uh Huh. Then you were the same f o r a while and then you had some s m a l l jobs. Him: Tune ups I was doing. I t was n i c e r weather and of course the sun seems to a f f e c t me, always. So, up the summer. Me: And i n the winter the small jobs ended and i t was winter time and your b i r t h d a y was a d i f f i c u l t time. Him: Yeah. T h i s i s my r e a l i z a t i o n p o i n t . Me: How o l d were you? Him Twenty-nine. Me: Twenty-nine. So t h a t was a d i f f i c u l t y . And t h a t j u s t . . . I t stayed low there f o r a w h i l e . Then you heard about t h i s job program and t h a t took up a l i t t l e b i t to the present. Him: Yeah. (99) Me: Okay. Is there anything t h a t you can add to t h a t ? Him: No. That's a l l . (100) 

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