Contextual factors and the experience of unemployment: A review of qualitative studies

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This study aimed to review qualitative studies on the contextual factors affecting the experience of unemployed individuals. From the analysis of the findings of 13 qualitative studies, the conclusion was reached that the contextual factors, namely the broader society, the surrounding community, and the individual as actor or agent, had a direct impact on the unemployment experience of individuals. It was recommended that unemployed individuals be organised into community subgroups, constructed to participate in projects aimed at empowering the community to improve cohesion, equality among members, and a collaborative attitude. Social scientists ought to make an effort to advocate a marked improvement in society’s tolerance for, and understanding of, the realities faced by the unemployed person. One such reality was that a well-paying job that would take an individual out of financial hardship could be well out of reach of some individuals, which would mean a life of surviving without any regular income.




du Toit, M., de Witte, H., Rothmann, S., & van den Broeck, A. (2018). Contextual factors and the experience of unemployment: A review of qualitative studies. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences. AOSIS (pty) Ltd.

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