Job Loss and Attempts to Return to Work: Complicating Inequalities across Gender and Class

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Drawing on data from 100 qualitative interviews with the recently unemployed, this study examines how participants made decisions about attempting to return to work and identifies how class and gender shape these decisions. Middle-class men were most likely to take time to attempt to return to work, middle-class women were most likely to begin a deliberate job search, working-class men were most likely to report an urgent search, and working-class women were most likely to have diverted searches. Financial resources, gendered labor force attachments, and family responsibilities shaped decision making. Ultimately, those in the middle-class appear doubly advantaged—both in their financial capabilities and in their ability to respond to the crisis with greater gender flexibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-30
Number of pages24
JournalGender and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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