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 11: Social Assistance Deservingness and Policy Measures: Attitudes of Finnish Politicians, Administrators and Citizens

Helena Blomberg, Johanna Kallio, Olli Kangas, Christian Kroll and Mikko Niemelä


In this chapter, we first compare citizens and various professional groups involved in the administration of social assistance with regard to their deservingness perceptions about the recipients of social assistance. Second, we investigate the association between deservingness perceptions and attitudes towards policy measures concerning social assistance. By looking at these questions, we hope to contribute to knowledge about the formation of deservingness perceptions at different levels: from the general public in Finland, through street-level bureaucrats paying out benefits and to politicians involved in local decision making.

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