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For Whose Benefit?The Everyday Realities of Welfare Reform$
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Ruth Patrick

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447333463

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447333463.001.0001

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The emergence of a framing consensus on ‘welfare’

The emergence of a framing consensus on ‘welfare’

(p.35) Two The emergence of a framing consensus on ‘welfare’
For Whose Benefit?

Ruth Patrick

Policy Press

This chapter introduces readers to the welfare reform policy context in the UK, exploring the reform trajectory taken over the past 35 years. It highlights the dominant construction of the ‘welfare’ policy problem, and the central place that welfare conditionality then plays in the posited policy solution. The ways in which welfare reform is frequently defended with a recourse to a stigmatising narrative around ‘welfare dependency’ is detailed, as is the central role now played by Poverty Porn – television shows that purport to show the ‘real’ picture of life on benefits. Recent reforms by Cameron’s Government are outlined, with a particular focus on those changes that affected individuals interviewed for this research. It is argued that a ‘framing consensus on ‘welfare’ today operates, with ‘welfare’ and those who receive it seen as inherently and necessarily negative and problematic.

Keywords:   welfare, welfare conditionality, David Cameron, poverty porn, sanctions

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