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Trabalho, Educação e Saúde

On-line version ISSN 1981-7746


TUMOLO, Ligia Maria Soufen  and  TUMOLO, Paulo Sergio. The experience of being unemployed: a critical study of the meaning of unemployment in capitalism. Trab. educ. saúde [online]. 2004, vol.2, n.2, pp.327-344. ISSN 1981-7746.

In a first stage, the article examines the results of a survey with individuals that were looking for a job by referral from the SINE - Brazilian Employment System - in Florianópolis - Santa Catarina, in an attempt to find out the main characteristics of their experience as unemployed. Next, analysing the meaning of unemployment within the logic of capitalist society, it concludes that the unemployed have great difficulty in selling the force of his/her labour, and, in extreme cases, are totally unable, not just to sell this labour, but to sell any other merchandise, with the consequence that they have also great difficulty in buying - or are totally unable to buy - their means of subsistence so as to produce their lives as human beings. From this it is possible to presume that the characteristics of their experience are an expression, in their everyday life, of the production of their degradation as human beings as well as of their efforts to react against this process.

Keywords : unemployment; capitalism; life-experience; market; social production of life.

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