Irene Barbieri, Franco Fraccaroli

Transcending the issue of joblessness: New challenges for research and intervention on unemployment via an ecological approach

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Keywords: psychology of unemployment, ecological approach, well-being, community psychology.

The new economic and labour challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to several changes in the psychological experience of unemployment. However, existing psychological research is not always able to grasp the complexity and heterogeneity of this phenomenon. Instead, it often returns a uniform picture of unemployment. The aim of this contribution is to suggest a new approach to research and intervention in the field of unemployment. The first part of the paper provides a partial review of the classical models and empirical findings. The second part presents a new proposal aimed to address two needs. Firstly, it aims to transcend the uniform profile of the unemployed often drawn by surveys and to grasp the multiplicity of ways of experiencing unemployment. Second, it aims to study unemployment not only as a single event, but as a complex process that affects different areas of individual and community life. Based on an ecological approach, the authors introduce alternative ways to study the psychology of unemployment.

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