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It Isn't Charity because We've Paid into it’: Social Citizenship and the Moral Economy of Welfare Recipients in the Wake of 2012 UK Welfare Reform Act

Thiel, Darren (2022) 'It Isn't Charity because We've Paid into it’: Social Citizenship and the Moral Economy of Welfare Recipients in the Wake of 2012 UK Welfare Reform Act.' Qualitative Sociology, 45 (2). pp. 291-318. ISSN 0162-0436

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Abstract

Drawing on interviews with welfare claimants living in Essex, UK, this article examines the material and symbolic effects of the UK government’s 2012 Welfare Reform Act, and it highlights the participants’ interpretations of and responses to that. In reaction to their sense of material and symbolic exclusion, participants made moral claims for their inclusion through a notion of social citizenship based on collective reciprocity and care. They claimed to have paid-in to the national purse in various material and moral ways until circumstances outside of their control meant they could no longer do so. They thus asserted a moral-economic right to social inclusion and an ensuing right to receive adequate, non-stigmatised, and non-punitive welfare. These moral-economic claims differ from other, more public, counter-narratives to welfare reform and government austerity, and they assert a clear but subtle opposition to the market-bound logic of the reform.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Austerity; Value; Poverty; Rights; Exclusion; Boundaries; Bedroom tax; Benefit cap
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2021 12:48
Last Modified: 12 May 2022 07:35
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31667

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