Unemployment experience of youth in Ankara and Şanlıurfa

Çelik, Kezban
This thesis aims to analyse how joblessness is experienced by unemployed youth, which factors are involved in this experience, what are their coping strategies and results. Final objective is to understand the relationship between wage work, adulthood and citizenship for young people who are in the process of learning how to be adult. The study is based on the interviews conducted in Ankara and Şanlıurfa with 329 young people, who had registered to İŞKUR in the last quarter of 2003 and who were approached after six months of registration, 30 families of the unemployed youth and 21 decision-makers of both provinces. The results of the study represent only the survey group. The study found that ‘family’ is the most important institution in the experience of unemployed youth due to the scarce welfare state implementation and limited number and low quality of jobs created in the labour market. Therefore, family resources are crucial in the management of unemployment experience. It is not a reason itself for unemployment, but poor resources increase the need for wage work of youth labour. Youth who are heavily dependent on family support cope with unemployment in two ways: early adulthood or postponed adulthood. They try to overcome their unclear stage between childhood and adulthood through finding a job accompanied by other criteria of being adult. The former leads to the reproduction of earlier family patterns and intergenerational transfer of poverty, while the latter means to postpone the exercise of adult rights. With heavy dependence on family, unemployed youth learn to be ‘good family members’. This has an eroding effect on their trust and respect towards the state and its institutions as expressed by one interviewee, “my State is my father”. As a result, their chance to become active, participatory, responsible, entrepreneur individuals as required by new system decrease dramatically.


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Citation Formats
K. Çelik, “Unemployment experience of youth in Ankara and Şanlıurfa,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2006.