Aim: Although we know the general causes of youth unemployment, we do not know precisely how to combat them. We know that unemployed young people are mostly those who seek jobs for the first time and that they therefore remain out of the coverage of unemployment insurance schemes. Furthermore, there is no systematic and established assistance/service scheme for unemployed youth in Turkey and available assistance is family-focused. Also, limited availability of jobs as well as their low wage and incidental character further add to the importance of family and family solidarity. All these bring family to the fore in discussions related to ways in which young people experience unemployment.
This study is the part of my PhD thesis on "Unemployment Experience of Individual, its Meaning For Family and the State: Youth (Aged 18-24) Unemployment in Turkey". The present study focusing on youth unemployment, experience of unemployment within families, family support during spells of unemployment and coping strategies.
Method: Interviews in this survey cover a sample consisting of families of young persons in the age group 18-24, who registered to the İSKUR within the last quarter of 2003 at least 6 months prior to the date of sampling. Basing upon information obtained from these in-depth interviews, family strategies in regard to unemployment are addressed. It was considered that qualitative methods would be more appropriate to better grasp the experience of unemployment and how this experience affected family life and processes. There were altogether 30 families interviewed (15 in Urfa and 15 in Ankara).
Findings and Conclusion: All families interviewed live with their unemployed children. Families give significant support to their children while they are unemployed. Children are dependent to their families in many ways including the following:
Material and economic dependency: Family provides for sheltering, nutrition, education and health needs. From most basic needs to cost of cigarettes and short travels in the city are all covered by families. It is with pocket money given by fathers mostly that young people go out to seek job, hang around with friends, etc.
Dependency in social resources: Family also contributes by taking active part in the job seeking process of their children. In this process, family elders inform all relatives, acquaintances and surrounding environments about this job seeking and all kinds of efforts are made to find their children jobs.
Moral dependency: The earlier forms of dependence (material and social) bring along dependency to family values as well. This means dependency in terms of the definition of works that females may do, conceptions about "good work", whether he/she can move elsewhere for jobs, getting married and with whom to marry, having children or not. This type of dependency leads to the reproduction of earlier family patterns.