Ready to work (yet)? Unemployment trajectories among vulnerable welfare recipients

Sophie Danneris

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


By analysing changes through time in vulnerable welfare recipients’ perception of their unemployment trajectories, the article revisits the assumption that unemployed clients’ trajectories are linear pathways following a clear and predictable line of causes and effects. The analysis is based on a qualitative longitudinal study in which 25 vulnerable welfare recipients were interviewed and observed repeatedly over the course of a two-year period. The article depicts four main stages – clients step into and out of through time, dependent on their perception of individual agency, institutional role and orientation towards the future. The results show that stages in vulnerable clients’ unemployment trajectories overlap in complicated ways, in which different explanations, effects, unintended consequences and interlocking problems are closely intertwined. By studying social policy reforms through the lenses of the clients, the study challenges current research attempts to find a quick fix or ‘one-size-fits-all’ intervention to improve the employability of vulnerable clients.

Translated title of the contributionKlar til at arbejde (endnu)?: Et kvalitativt forløbsstudie af aktivitetsparate kontanthjælpsmodtageres forløb mod arbejdsmarkedet
Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Social Work
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)355-372
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • unemployment
  • life course theory
  • social policy
  • vulnerable clients
  • social welfare
  • Unemployment


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