The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Ofer Sharone

Associate Professor

Available Spring 2022 by appointment for Zoom office hours.  

Ofer’s research focuses on career transitions, work and and unemployment. His studies are primarily cross-national comparisons and utilize in-depth interviews and participant observations.

In his book entitled Flawed System/Flawed Self: Job Searching and Unemployment Experiences (University of Chicago Press) he compares the job searching and unemployment experiences of white-collar workers in Israel and the United States. This book won the Zelizer Award in Economic Sociology and the Weber Award in Organizations, Occupation, Work (OOW). His current research with the Institute for Career Transitions focuses on strategies for supporting long term unemployed job seekers. This research has received wide attention from national media and led to an invitation from the White House and the Department of Labor to participate in policy discussions on addressing long-term unemployment. Ofer’s teaching interests include the sociology of aspirations, American society, negotiations, and social theory.


Ofer holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois; a J.D. from Harvard Law School; and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Research areas

Sociology of aspirations, sociology of work;  American Society; Social Theory; Qualitative methodology

Selected publications:

Flawed System/Flawed Self: Job Searching and Unemployment Experiences.  University of Chicago Press.

“Networking when Unemployed:  Why Long Term Unemployment Will Likely Persist Long After the Covid-19 Pandemic Recedes.” American Behavioral Scientist.

“A Crisis of Unemployment is Looming in the U.S.”  Harvard Business Review.

“The Intimate Dance of Networking: A Comparative Study of the Emotional Labor of Young American and Danish Jobseekers.”  2020.  (co-authored).  Research in the Sociology of Work 34:33-58.

“Long-term Unemployment in the United States.”  In The Cambridge Handbook of Social Problem edited by Javier Trevnio.  Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. 

"LinkedIn or LinkedOut? How Social Networking Sites are Reshaping the Labor Market.”  Research in the Sociology of Work 30:1-31.

“The Emotional Toll of Long-Term Unemployment: Examining the Interaction Effects of Gender and Marital Status.”   The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences.

“Sociology as a Strategy of Support for Long-Term Unemployed Workers.”  The American Sociologist.  

“Supporting Experienced Long-Term Unemployed Professionals.”  In Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century, edited by Carl Van Horn, Todd Green and Tammy Edward.  Washington DC: Federal Reserve.

“Social Capital Activation and Job Searching: Embedding the Use of Weak Ties in the American Institutional Context.”  Work and Occupations 41(4): 409-439.

“Why Unemployed Americans Blame Themselves While Israelis Blame the System.”  Social Forces.  91(4): 1429-1450.

“Job Searching and Preparation.”  In Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia, edited by Vicki Smith and Geoffrey Golson.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

“Constructing Unemployed Job Seekers as Professional Workers:  The Depoliticizing Work-Game of Job Searching.”  Qualitative Sociology. 30(4): 403-416.   

“Engineering Overwork: Bell-Curve Management at a High-Tech Firm.”  In Fighting for Time: Shifting Boundaries of Work and Social Life, edited by Cynthia Fuchs Epstein and Arne L. Kalleberg.  New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

“Work in the Postindustrial Economy of California.”  In The State of California Labor.  Berkeley: University of California Press.