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Looking inside the frame: post-industrial identity and the threat of unemployment and crime. Ian Mahoney Centre For Social Policy Keele University

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Presentation on theme: "Looking inside the frame: post-industrial identity and the threat of unemployment and crime. Ian Mahoney Centre For Social Policy Keele University"— Presentation transcript:

1 Looking inside the frame: post-industrial identity and the threat of unemployment and crime. Ian Mahoney Centre For Social Policy Keele University Funded by the ESRC

2 Industry Smithies29600 Blast Furnaces 200 Coal Mines1320 Pot Banks * Decline of Industry in Stoke-on-Trent Rosenthal et al, 1993:177 * ONS (2012)

3 Research Methods Target 10 participants from each of three different areas with different compositions: Traditional white working-class Large minority communities Transition zone with high student population Narrative Interview Methods Three stage data collection process Triangulation Interview Follow Up

4 Framing the Argument Bateson argued that statements dont have intrinsic meanings, but only acquire those in a frame that is constituted by context and style. (Vliegenthart and van Zoonen, 2011:102) Cognitive Frames : – Frames are cognitive shortcuts that people use to help make sense of complex information. Frames help us to interpret the world around us and represent that world to others…frames provide meaning through selective simplification, by filtering people's perceptions and providing them with a field of vision for a problem. (Kaufman, Elliott and Shmueli, 2007) Cultural Frames Culture refers to an organized set of beliefs, codes, myths, stereotypes, values, norms, frames, and so forth that are shared in the collective memory of a group or society (Van Gorp, 2007: 62)

5 Framing Unemployment "Those within it grow up with a series of expectations: you can have a home of your own, the state will support you whatever decisions you make, you will always be able to take out no matter what you put in. "This has sent out some incredibly damaging signals. That it pays not to work. That you are owed something for nothing. It gave us millions of working-age people sitting at home on benefits even before the recession hit. It created a culture of entitlement. (David Cameron on those living in the Welfare System. 25 th June 2012)

6 Framing Unemployment (2) Time is up for Dole Wasters The Sun Feb 24 th 2012 A WELFARE revolution to smash dependency culture of millions on the dole is launched The Sun June 28 th 2010 Historic welfare reform 'to end culture of benefits being seen as an acceptable alternative to work' finally becomes law. Daily Mail 2 nd March 2012 Its not the absence of jobs thats the problem. Its the failure to match the unemployed to the jobs there are. Iain Duncan Smith 3 rd March 2011 – Currently, 5 people on the Job Centre books for every job!

7 Stigma Society establishes the means of categorizing persons and the complement of attributes felt to be ordinary and natural for members of these categories. Social settings establish the categories of persons likely to be encountered there. (Goffman, 1963;11-12) The normal and the stigmatized are not persons but rather perspectives. These are generated in social situations during mixed contacts by virtue of the unrealized norms that are likely to play upon the encounter. (Ibid: )

8 Living with the stigma: Case Study Abdullah: 23 year old, working-class male. – He is a white, Catholic from a traditional working-class family. He asked that I use the pseudonym Abdullah the first time that I met him – Lack of school and college engagement – He has never held down a single job for longer than a few months and has been out of legitimate work for approximately eight months. – Social Housing – Weak Family Links – Deviant history. – Cannabis and Monkey Dust (Bath Salts)

9 Living with the stigma – You get your bad sheep in each family, and I'm the bad sheep in me mums – Eighteen, nineteen n' just couldn't be arsed so I just live off the dole... I didn't do any searching n' shit. I've just got a lazy attitude n' yeah. – I won't get far in life. I'll just be plodding along til I die to be honest mate. I mean you never know, I might win the lottery you never know, you got more chance of…well you've got more chance with the lottery.

10 Living with the stigma Normalization and normification Isolation Bravado

11 Thanks for listening! Ian Mahoney Centre for Social Policy Keele University Newcastle Staffordshire ST5 5DX


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