Downward Mobility and the Great Recession


A team of researchers from the Department of Sociology at The Ohio State University, led by Steve Lopez, is studying how the Great Recession has affected the daily lives of individuals who involuntarily lost employment, experienced reduced hours or income, or changed fields since 2007.  

While statistical data documenting the impact of the Great Recession and slow economic recovery on employment, income, wealth, and housing are now readily available, little is known about how the Great Recession has qualitatively affected people’s daily lives.  

Through in-depth interviews with displaced workers, this project explores people’s (a) material responses, or practical adaptations to the actual or potential loss of income and wealth; (b) attitudinal responses, i.e., changing aspirations, beliefs, and attitudes in the face of a society-wide ratcheting-down of living standards; and (c) relational responses, or how people may be reconfiguring their relationships with others, including spouses, partners, children, extended family members and peers, as they try to adapt to economic dislocation and disruption. 

For more information about the study, please contact Dr. Steven Lopez at or 614-292-8192. 

The project has been approved by Ohio State’s Institutional Review Board (Protocol No. Protocol No. 2012B0373).