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Fate and Agency in Job Loss Narratives

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 12:15 authored by Douglas EzzyDouglas Ezzy
While sociologists have emphasized the social sources of autobiographical narratives, there has been relatively little sociological reflection on the way that autobiographers themselves make selective use of accounts of social forces and pressures to explain their actions. This paper examines the way individuals' use of social pressures as explanations of their behavior are related to the structure of autobiographical narratives as a whole. The paper draws on empirical examples from interviews with people who are unemployed. Focusing on heroic and tragic narrative structures, I argue that the overall narrative structure is shaped by a number of factors, including the events of historical experience, the rhetorical intention of the autobiographer, and the structuring effects of social location. © 2000 Human Sciences Press, Inc.

History

Publication title

Qualitative Sociology

Volume

23

Pagination

121-134

ISSN

0162-0436

Department/School

School of Social Sciences

Publisher

Kluwer Academic/Human Sciences Press

Place of publication

New York

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Employment patterns and change

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