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Understanding Social Change$
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Anthony F. Heath, John Ermisch, and Duncan Gallie

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263143

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263143.001.0001

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Entrapment in Unemployment: Motivational Deficiency or Structural Constraint?

Entrapment in Unemployment: Motivational Deficiency or Structural Constraint?

(p.125) 6. Entrapment in Unemployment: Motivational Deficiency or Structural Constraint?
Understanding Social Change

Duncan Gallie

British Academy

This chapter explains the processes that lead people to become vulnerable to labour market marginalisation through unemployment. It first focuses on incentives to work and suggests that unemployment is the result of a motivational deficit, which is linked to a system of welfare benefits that reduces the value that people attach to work. It then discusses social exclusion, which suggests that once people become unemployed, they are caught in a vicious circle of poverty and social isolation that in turn sharply reduce their opportunities for employment. Finally, it looks at the argument that the critical factor is related to the changing patterns of skills in advanced societies and the nature of the training provision for the updating and modification of skills.

Keywords:   labour market, unemployment, social exclusion, poverty, social isolation

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