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ERIC Number: EJ820217
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7732
Job Loss at Mid-Life: Managers and Executives Face the "New Risk Economy"
Mendenhall, Ruby; Kalil, Ariel; Spindel, Laurel J.; Hart, Cassandra M. D.
Social Forces, v87 n1 p185-209 Sep 2008
We use a life course framework to examine how the "new risk economy" has left middle-age professionals, managers and executives more vulnerable to job loss and unemployment despite high levels of human capital. Using in-depth qualitative data from 77 recently-unemployed white-collar workers, we examine perceptions of macro-economic forces and their implications for respondents' career-recovery plans and expectations for their own and their children's future career pathways. We find that most respondents attributed their job loss to factors associated with globalization and used coping strategies that involved adapting a "free-agent" mentality in the face of declining employer loyalty and deprofessionalization to manage perceptions of age bias. Respondents also make mastering the "new risk economy" a developmental goal for themselves and their children. (Contains 2 figures.)
University of North Carolina Press. 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 800-848-6224; Tel: 919-966-7449; Fax: 919-962-2704; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305B040098