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Free Content Beyond 'mythbusting': how to respond to myths and perceived undeservingness in the British benefits system

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In a context of 'hardening' attitudes towards benefit claimants in Britain, some argue that social security can only be rebuilt when 'benefit myths' and negative attitudes are tackled. However, this paper argues that some of these concerns are misplaced, based on evidence on (i) the extent of myths; (ii) the effectiveness of mythbusting; and (iii) the existence of myths/negative attitudes in times/places the benefits system is more popular. It argues that public attitudes are fundamentally characterised by ambivalence, and the critical issue is the balance between positive and negative aspects and which of these are triggered in public debate.

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Keywords: BENEFIT ATTITUDES; BRITAIN; KNOWLEDGE; MYTHS; SOCIAL SECURITY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 October 2016

This article was made available online on 13 September 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "Beyond ‘mythbusting’: how to respond to myths and perceived undeservingness in the British benefits system".

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