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Welfare rights and responsibilitiesContesting social citizenship$
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Peter Dwyer

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9781861342041

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861342041.001.0001

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(p.171) 6 Membership
Welfare rights and responsibilities

Peter Dwyer

Policy Press

The concept of citizenship implies membership of some form of community; in turn, the notion of community opens up questions about terms of inclusion and exclusion. This chapter focuses on the ground rules that are seen by welfare-service users as being pertinent for individuals to be included in or excluded from arrangements for the collective provision of welfare benefits and services. Throughout the research sessions, it became clear that many users saw certain people as having legitimate claims to welfare, while the claims of others were often seen as invalid. A distinction between ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ claims was apparent in the users' dialogue. This was a recurrent and often strongly expressed discourse that was regularly used to justify the inclusion or exclusion of certain people from public welfare. Illustrative examples of the users endorsing either an inclusionary or exclusionary approach (and the strategies that they use to justify their stance) in healthcare, housing, and social security, respectively, are presented. Where relevant, comments about all social provision and welfare rights in general are included.

Keywords:   citizenship, membership, welfare, inclusion, exclusion, healthcare, housing, social security, welfare rights

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