Attitudes to Welfare Deservingness
Edited by Wim van Oorschot, Femke Roosma, Bart Meuleman and Tim Reeskens
Chapter 10: The Deservingness Logic Applied to Public Opinions Concerning Work Obligations for Benefit Claimants
Scholars in the field of welfare state attitudes generally examine support for the distribution of welfare, and support for social policies and the related entitlements of needy citizens (Meier Jæger, 2006, 2007; Roller, 1995). Despite the fact that in recent decades these welfare policies have tended to emphasize more and more the activation of welfare beneficiaries and related benefit obligations (Gilbert, 2004; Lødemel and Trickey, 2001; Serrano Pascual and Magnusson, 2007), studies analysing support for activation policies remain scarce. Activation policies may take various forms, but they share a perspective in which citizens are no longer primarily considered as subjects with social rights, but as subjects with social rights and obligations regarding, for example, active job seeking, participating in training programmes, subsidized work and work experience. Therefore, although ‘activation’ is currently an attribute of many welfare benefits (Gilbert, 2004), there is a substantial lack of knowledge regarding the perceived social legitimacy of these policies.
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