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Appears in Collections:Psychology eTheses
Title: Gainful unemployment: using a dialogical psychology to intervene in unemployment
Author(s): Mahendran, Kesini
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This qualitative inquiry built on a relational and dynamic epistemology, distinguishes between four psychologies of unemployment, agency-deprivation, social perception, self-perception and finally dialectical. Within a dialectical psychology of unemployment a dialogical analysis is developed which takes the locus of intervention in unemployment as the interaction between unemployed people, those that work with them and the social knowledge that surrounds the phenomenon. The inquiry uses a longitudinal participatory action approach with two training and guidance centres in Central Scotland, 'Strategic Delivery' and the 'Young Person's Centre' between 1999 and 2001. This involved participant observation on the New Deal and Skillseekers; training programmes, meetings and interviews with managers, unemployed clients and front-line staff. 14 young people were followed through their pre-vocational training between January 2ooo and April 2ooo and follow up interviews were carried out in February and March 2ool. The study also involved social consultancy on measuring soft skills at SD and developing a person-centred approach at the YPC, where the YPC became understood as a multi-voiced organization[Bakhtin (1986)]. The inquiry produced actions, recommendations to the organizations and interpretative findings around the use of a dialogical analysis. Three co-created 'actions' on self-assessment measures for unemployed people are described. The study recommends that two key foundational concepts in the area of unemployment 'social inclusion' and 'employability' need to be reconsidered for this cohort of young people where 42.9% remain unemployed at the end of the research. Finally in making sense of organizational change the study explores the extent to which managers within the YPC were in a dialogue with the socio-political discourse and the movement in meaning of the term 'person-centred'. The study points to the importance of organizations developing an authentic dialogue with their client group. It assesses the role that psychology is playing in the current dominance of a self-perception psychology of unemployment.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Natural Sciences

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