Chapter 3 looks at the different versions of reciprocity that interviewees drew on to frame and justify their expectations of social support. During interviews, welfare users invoked various forms of reciprocity in their talk about welfare[, from contributing to collective benefit to mutual investment between individuals In doing so, they expressed different forms of belonging to the nation and made claims on its resources. The responses of the small but diverse range of interviewees suggest more about dynamics than patterns of expectation. The chapter shows how familiar scripts are loaded with the details of personal biography and social circumstance. It concludes by drawing on Ghassan Hage’s concept of the ‘social gift’ to argue that attention to the mode of accessing rights helps understand the problem of inequality and discrimination for those who are formally, although sometimes only partially, included.
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