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A Company of OneInsecurity, Independence, and the New World of White-Collar Unemployment$
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Carrie M. Lane

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449642

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449642.001.0001

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Man Enough to Let My Wife Support Me

Man Enough to Let My Wife Support Me

(p.103) 5 Man Enough to Let My Wife Support Me
A Company of One

Carrie M. Lane

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the material realities of joblessness. Jobless tech workers face very real material challenges. Although better positioned than many to withstand prolonged unemployment, jobless tech workers attempt to alleviate financial challenges by cutting costs, depleting their savings, accumulating debt, and taking on low-paid interim jobs. The central finding in this chapter is the hidden extent to which self-proclaimed flexible, entrepreneurial free agents depend on the steady income of an employed spouse to remain solvent while between positions. It then analyzes the ways in which new ideologies of work and career have developed alongside the rise of the two-earner family and significant changes to traditional notions of marriage and masculinity. Although this reliance on spousal support functions in some respects as a buffer against the harsher material and emotional challenges of unemployment, it also has its costs, particularly for female job seekers, who are far less comfortable relying on spousal income than their male peers.

Keywords:   unemployment, unemployed, job seekers, tech workers, two-earner family, spousal support, steady income

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