The Job Search Experience: The Relevance of a New Study Object

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Seminarsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Distributed Paper
Priscila VIEIRA, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil
Through a literature review of Sociology of Work, Sociology of Unemployment and Economic Sociology, this article aims to show the relevance of presenting job search as an object itself. This analytical relevance is based on the unemployment new features and the scarcity of studies on this subject. The second object of this text is to present some empirical findings of qualitative research realized in São Paulo, Brazil, especially those ones related to micro-sociological process of job search situation. Our theoretical approach refuses both the type of economic analysis that describes it as a mere rational behavior linking job seekers and employers, and the current sociological perspective that reduces it to  a crucial variable on the measurement of the  unemployment situation. We assume a different sociological point of view which approaches the search for a job as a social, moral and subjective experience; in this sense, it has to be analyzed taking into account its context, as a negotiated situation, and the job seeker perceptions, experiences and discourses. The empirical research took place during four years  in the Barão de Itapetininga street, Sao Paulo downtown, the most important cluster of labor market intermediaries in São Paulo Metropolitan Region, which concentrates itself the most important segment of the Brazilian intermediation market. Ethnographic observation, interviews, analysis of documents and secondary data were the main sources in the fieldwork.