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Contested Welfare StatesWelfare Attitudes in Europe and Beyond$
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Stefan Svallfors

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804782524

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804782524.001.0001

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A Normative Approach to Welfare Attitudes

A Normative Approach to Welfare Attitudes

(p.81) Chapter Four A Normative Approach to Welfare Attitudes
Contested Welfare States
Christian Staerklé, Tiina Likki, Régis Scheidegger
Stanford University Press

This chapter focuses on how normative beliefs—understood as socially shared values, perceptions, and expectations about social order—shape welfare attitudes. It distinguishes among four basic categories of beliefs about social order that are associated with welfare legitimacy: moral order measured by authoritarianism and social distrust, free market measured by perceived welfare dependency, social diversity measured by ethnocentrism, and structural inequality measured by egalitarianism. The discussion proposes an account of social psychological processes at work in the construction of welfare attitudes. The results demonstrate that such processes are not universal but rather are moderated by the institutional and normative contexts in which they are enacted.

Keywords:   welfare attitudes, socially shared values, social order, welfare legitimacy, moral order, social diversity, structural inequality

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