Attitudes to Welfare Deservingness
Edited by Wim van Oorschot, Femke Roosma, Bart Meuleman and Tim Reeskens
Chapter 18: Evaluating the Fruitfulness of Deservingness Theory
The central claim in this volume is that the social legitimacy of targeted welfare provision hinges to a large degree on public perceptions of the deservingness of the target groups. The various chapters contribute to our understanding of this legitimacy by addressing the nature of such deservingness judgements, as well as their roots and consequences. By means of diverse methodological tools, scholars from different research communities empirically test the central tenets of the deservingness framework, and explore whether deservingness is a useful theoretical lens through which to investigate new phenomena. In a nutshell, deservingness theory postulates that individuals’ opinions about welfare deservingness tend to differentiate between the target groups for social welfare policies (van Oorschot, 2006).
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