The "cultures" of unemployed people in the United States and abroad are complex, varied and offer explanatory power when analyzed, as they are here, in a systematic way. The authors use case studies and survey data to devise a framework for a better understanding of the effects of welfare state policy on the chronically unemployed. They analyze the personal and political worlds behind the social mechanisms behind the welfare state. Comparing the results of this study with important ethnographic studies conducted in the United States provides unique insight into the differences and similarities between the American welfare state and the Netherlands, a highly developed European welfare state. The foreword by U.S. scholar William Julius Wilson emphasizes the universality of the method and findings presented here.
Foreword -- Introduction -- Cultures of the Welfare State -- The Central Issues of the Study -- Empirical Study -- A Jobless Market -- Making Ends Meet -- Dealing with Time -- Looking for a Job -- The Perception of Rights and Obligations -- Analysis and Comparisons -- Cultures of Unemployment -- Homo Calculans and Homo Honoris -- A Profile of Urban Poverty -- Unemployment and the Labor Market -- Fieldwork and Data Processing -- Descriptions of the Three Research Locations -- Dutch and American Incomes Compared -- Tables from Chapter 8 (except for Table 8.1)