Just desserts? Class disgust, benefits debates and rethinking value

Wallace, Andrew (2014) Just desserts? Class disgust, benefits debates and rethinking value. Discover Society, May (8).

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‘Austerity’ Britain has proliferated all manner of retro fashions, dispositions and attitudes, none more so than the re-emergence of good old-fashioned ‘benefits bashing’, achieved through a heady mix of innovative ‘poverty porn’ broadcasting and Coalition rhetoric and policy. However, despite efforts to valiantly expose these dual drivers of ‘claimant class’ defamation, the contemporary ‘benefits scrounger’ has nevertheless come to embody a key problematic for contemporary resisters of inequality and stigmatisation and defenders of social security systems. Specifically, those of us interested in contesting class-based shaming and projects of devaluation are being confronted with a set of analytical and tactical challenges which bring us face to face with the registers of character and morality through which this shaming is organized. These are challenges, I want to argue here, that ‘we’ are in danger of failing.

Additional Information:All articles published by Discover Society are covered by a Creative Commons licence, allowing share alike for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to author and link to the Discover Society web-page for the article: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Keywords:Class, Welfare, Stigma, Evidence, NotOAChecked
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:13897
Deposited On:07 May 2014 15:35

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