The sociology of unemployment is an analysis of the experience and governance of unemployment. By considering unemployment as more than just the absence of work; the book explores unemployment as a distinctive experience created by the welfare state. Each chapter explores an aspect of the experience or governance of unemployment; beginning with how people talk about their experience of being unemployed individually and collectively, to the places of unemployment, and on to the processes, policies and forms of the social welfare system. Clear explanations of classic theories are explored and extended, all against the backdrop of new primary research. Chapter by chapter, The sociology of unemployment challenges the 'deprivation theory of unemployment' which dominates sociology, psychology and social policy, by focusing on how governmental power forms the experience of unemployment. As a result, the book is both an introductory text on the sociology of unemployment and a fresh, critical perspective.