The Social Legitimacy of Targeted Welfare
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The Social Legitimacy of Targeted Welfare

Attitudes to Welfare Deservingness

Edited by Wim van Oorschot, Femke Roosma, Bart Meuleman and Tim Reeskens

This book addresses new perspectives on the perceived popular deservingness of target groups of social services and benefits, offering new insights and analysis to this quickly developing field of welfare attitudes research. It provides an up-to-date state of the art in terms of concepts, theories, research methods and data. The book offers a multi-disciplinary view on deservingness attitudes, with contributions from sociology, political science, media studies and social psychology. It links up with central welfare state debates about the allocation of collective resources between groups with particular needs, and wider categories of need.
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Chapter 7: The Varying Faces of Poverty and Deservingness in Dutch Print Media

Dorota Lepianka


One of the key themes in this volume is that perceptions of the deservingness of target populations are pivotal for the legitimacy of different anti-poverty policy measures. van Oorschot and Roosma (Chapter 1 in this volume) suggest that popular deservingness opinions and attitudes might be rooted in (popular) culture and thus reflected in, but also reinforced by, the mass media. Resting on this assumption,1 the current study investigates the Dutch news media portrayal of various subgroups of the poor and explores the implications of this for the theory of deservingness.

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