Unemployment is an unavoidable issue across the globe. How individuals get to the point of unemployment is still an ongoing argument and big issue in the United States. I am not interested in how they got there though, I am interested in how people react to and make meaning of being unemployed. Interesting enough religion is often prevalent in the meaning making of unemployment for many individuals.
Claudia Strauss; a professor of anthropology at Pitzer College, talks on this topic in her article posted on Anthropology News titled “Unemployment and Divine Plans”. The author elaborates on her studies of 64 unemployed Southern Californians. During their explanations of their various situations religion played a role for many. Some say that it is in God’s hands and his is part of his plan while others agree with this notion but realize they must also add in their own personal effort to get back on their feet, not just leave it in God’s hands.
These people used religion as a way to make light of their situation and to give themselves a reason to try to improve upon that situation. Upon becoming unemployed many begin to blame institutions like the government or they blame themselves which can be damaging to their self-esteem. If more people can find a way to not blame their unemployment on someone, something, or themselves, and realize a huge serious of events all came together in the right way to cause this, then they can be able to attempt to get out of unemployment. This can have a huge impact on the issue of the unemployed being content and living off welfare or trying their hardest to better their situation.