The social division of welfare knowledge: Policy stratification and perceptions of welfare reform in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

During its period in office (1996-2007), the Liberal-National coalition government increased stratification in the Australian welfare system by differentiating the norms and instruments applied to claimants groups. This article explores whether Australians accurately registered these developments by comparing voter assessments of policy generosity to different groups with an objective assessment of the direction of policy change. We find that voters were more likely to have recognised increased generosity to the middle class, and to have underestimated the tougher policies faced by some groups at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale. Their misrecognition of hardship raises broader questions for the political sociology of the welfare state.

LanguageEnglish
Pages323-346
Number of pages24
JournalPolicy and politics
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

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welfare reform
stratification
welfare
reform
political sociology
Group
welfare state
middle class
coalition
voter
policy

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The social division of welfare knowledge : Policy stratification and perceptions of welfare reform in Australia. / Wilson, Shaun; Hermes, Kerstin; Meagher, Gabrielle.

In: Policy and politics, Vol. 40, No. 3, 07.2012, p. 323-346.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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