The new class and the well-being state

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    Originally asked to look at what people thought about the welfare state, this paper has turned this question around somewhat and asks what do welfare professionals, experts and policy advisors think of people? To help answer this question, Alvin Gouldner’s 1979 sociological text about the Rise of the New Class will be adopted and explored in the context of twenty first century experiences and expectations (Gouldner 1979). The argument being made here is that the best way to understand welfare in the UK is not to focus on the punters receiving it, but to look at those who are handing it out.

    To give a brief response to the question, what do the new class think of the public, the answer this paper argues, is, not very much.

    However, today’s sense that the public are not up to much is no longer expressed through the gritted teeth of outraged moralists, but is spoken with soft tones by the new class, with empathy and understanding, and always with a desire to give us support.

    It is, in part, this desire to give people support that is the focus of this paper: Because if this is correct, it raises an old question in a new form, and the question we need to address is less one related to welfare as such, but a wider more all-encompassing question regarding the new class’s creation of a culture of dependency.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe future of the welfare state
    EditorsKurt Almqvist, Isabella Thomas
    Place of PublicationStockholm
    PublisherAxess Publishing AB
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Print)9789189672888
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2017


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