Nostalgia narratives? Pejorative attitudes to welfare in historical perspective: survey evidence from Beveridge to the British Social Attitudes Survey
While a growing body of evidence makes it increasingly difficult to argue against suggestions that there is a hostile body of anti-welfare sentiment in the UK, what is often implicit in the analysis of pejorative contemporary attitudes to welfare is the view that there was once a 'golden age' of the welfare state when public support was more fully behind a strong set of social security benefits provided as a social right of citizenship. Whether this was the case is a moot point however.
Few studies have tried to piece together the attitudes to welfare of the general public during the consensus era. We attempt to undertake such a task here, drawing on ad hoc attitudes surveys and polling data in particular. Specifically, we focus on how notions of the 'deserving' and 'undeserving poor' play out in this data, pointing to some key continuities found in contemporary and historical public attitudes to welfare.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2016-10-01
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