A recent strand of research has raised the question of whether a change is underway in the relationships that people have with work and nonwork. This body of work suggests that the manner in which people view unemployment and not working is changing. This chapter pursues and clarifies the first results of this research. The authors hypothesize a process of unemployment normalization, defined as the view that unemployment is a normal or even inevitable phase of life in a person’s career path and is the result of external circumstances rather than personal ones. This was tested with 600 unemployed people in two different economic contexts—France and Luxembourg—using a scale that revealed two latent factors: Justification for current unemployment situation and Perceived normality of unemployment. The findings reveal differences in the degree of normalization according to socioeconomic variables as well as an impact on the perceived health of the unemployed.
Part of the book: Unemployment