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Title: Person-place transactions : a study of place meanings and usage in unemployment.
Author: Sixsmith, Judith A.
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1992
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This thesis examines ways in which the experience of unemployment affects the experience of place. Taking an person-centred transactional perspective, it investigates transitions in place experience and the negotiation of place use and meaning in unemployment. A meta theoretical framework is constructed within which the research is located. Based on place theory, it emphasises the importance of a contextual study of person-place relations in which people are seen as active agents dealing with the circumstances of their everyday : life within the socio-physical grounding of places. The research is comprised of three interlinked studies. Firstly, the content and structure of the soclo-cultural context, in terms of social representations of unemployment, pointed to information on how places are used and evaluated in unemployment. Social representations, accessed through media reports and individual interviews with unemployed, employed and retired people, organisational workers and students, indicated the home, DSS, uº%Lr ºnl economy workplace, former workplace and pub as important environmental settings for the experience of unemployment. Secondly, a study of the organisational context of unemployment revealed the local opportunity structure within which unemployed people are located. Services offered through twenty four organisational places were evaluated in relation to the needs and desires of unemployed people. The third, and main, study concentrated on understanding problems, opportunities and life changes in unemployment and relating these to the meaning and use of places. A sample of forty four long term, unemployed, married men were visited several times over the period of a year. Using in-depth interviews and a multiple methods approach the men were encouraged to reflect on their ownexperiences and discuss these freely. Initially, the investigation showed how the experience of unemployment helped to structure the use and meaning of six environmental domains integrated in unemployed people's geographical lifeworlds: the organisational domain; leisure domain; work domain; home domain; entertainment domain and the domain of everyday necessities. Interestingly, it was the extent of the geographical lifeworld which was associated with mental health rather than unemployment levels in the local geographical area. The investigation of environmental domains again highlighted the important roles of the home, DSS, 4-arrrd economy workplace, former workplace and pub in unemployment. These five places were subject to detailed investigation. Attention focused on the content and structure of place experience and then analysed processes through which place use and meaning were negotiated. Each place was shown to be a complex of many different meanings, both positive and negative. However, meanings were structured within a model of personal, social, physical and instrumental place experience. The influence of unemployment was traced in all structural components of the place model. The negotiation of place use and meaning was revealed in analysis of social, psychological and actional processes. In particular, the role of action in place, processes of person-place appropriation and the influence of place based role-rule relations were explored. Transitions in place meaning and use were linked to the experience of unemployment through these processes
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology Psychology Labor Geography