I’m a Graduate, Get Me Out of Here! Discourses on Graduate Unemployment in the United Kingdom 2009 - 2015
Abstract: Labour markets throughout Europe are changing because of globalization. Education and skills are highly important to meet new standards and technology. At the same time, the financial crisis has caused mass unemployment, especially in younger demographics. In this convergence, active labour market policies play an important role for helping people back into the labour market. These policies come with a string of rights and duties for those who are affected by unemployment.In recent decades there has been a development in the EU of more stringent policy concerningthe labour markets. Especially Flexicurity plays a role in proposing an altered way of organizing labour and welfare policy. This thesis uses the United Kingdom as an example of how one demographic, unemployed graduates, are influenced by rights and duties as they collect welfare from the government. The purpose of his thesis is to discuss if altered ways of organizing labour market policy and welfare suggest the emergence of a new social contract for citizens of the EU, generally, and unemployed graduates in the UK specifically. This is discussed through the concepts of Flexicurity and citizenship. This thesis employs Social Contract Theory and Critical Discourse Analysis to present a textual analysis of the current discourse.This thesis finds that there are elements of a changing social contract in the EU based on Flexicurity discourse. It also finds that demands presented by UK governmental actors towards unemployed graduates suggest that the traditional ways of thinking about citizenship and the welfare state has changed since the start of the financial crisis.
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