Making the Outsiders-Welfare Connection: How the Otherization of Welfare Affects Public Opinion on Social Assistance in the US and UK
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
April 1, 2010
This paper addresses the relationship between diversity and public support for welfare, with the question: is support for the welfare state in the US and UK dependent upon who the perceived recipients are? I specifically examine whether negative attitudes towards out-groups (minorities) coupled with the belief that these groups disproportionately and undeservedly receive welfare benefits leads to a decrease in public support for welfare. This is done through the use of ANES and ESS survey data. I further argue that this is a message that citizens are receiving from the media and entrepreneurial politicians. This finding is reinforced by previously conducted content analysis of newspapers and tabloids. I refer to this coupling of welfare with out-groups, or Others, as the Otherization of Welfare. This paper examines not only race, but ethnicity, religion, and citizenship status as well.
Keywords: welfare, race, ethnicity, United States, United Kingdom
Date posted: April 5, 2010
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