|dc.description.abstract||This dissertation analyzes the experience of unemployment in
contemporary Argentina, emphasizing its multidimensional, heterogeneous, and
dynamic character. It examines the perceptions, impacts and responses to
unemployment on different dimensions of individual and social life in a context
characterized by a sharp worsening of the labor market, pervasive job insecurity
and uncertainty regarding the future. Argentina, which used to have a privileged
position in Latin America is going through the sharpest crisis in its history.
Previous certainties, based on stable and formal employment and well-established
channels of social mobility are no longer present. Its entire social and
occupational structure is collapsing. It is precisely this background what
constitutes the particularity of the Argentinean case.
The research strategy combines quantitative and qualitative analysis as a
way to grasp the complexity and dynamic character of the unemployment
experience. Quantitative analysis, based upon the Argentinean Permanent
Household Survey for Greater Buenos Aires during the period 1990-2000.
provides a broad picture of the worsening of the labor market during the 1990s,
identifying the main changes experienced during this period, their nature and
incidence, and the groups most affected by them. Qualitative analysis relies on 59
in-depth interviews to unemployed people of different ages, gender, social
classes, and family status conducted in two contrasting locations of Greater
Buenos Aires in terms of economic history and profile, social structure, and
location in respect to Buenos Aires city.
The main findings of this research show that the disruptive impacts of
unemployment at the individual and social levels acquire particular dimensions
under the present Argentinean context because the basis of previous frames of
reference of work, social belonging, and social mobility have vanished. The
mounting constraints that households experience to cope with their present
situation and the increasing depletion of the few resources available in a context
of an unprecedented crisis result in an overwhelming sense of vulnerability and
lack of future perspectives.||