Contested social care - is there a ‘right’ way? How public investments diminish attitudinal differences towards social care in 34 European countries

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Verena Benoit Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany

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Eva-Maria Euchner Fliedner University of Applied Sciences, Germany

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The COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered the critical nature of social care for modern societies and the moral dilemmas related to the organisation of care, specifically in terms of frail adults. The scarcity of personnel in nursing homes challenged the possibility of adequate care, spurring debates on both the dignity of dependent people and end-of-life treatments. While ‘classical’ social care policies already stimulate conflicts about the ‘right way’ of caring, non-classical care policies, such as assisted dying, are particularly contested. We advance existing research by analysing public attitudes on both care policies jointly and, hence, integrate the literature on morality policy and social care. Based on multi-level analyses, combining individual-level with macro-level data from 34 countries, we uncover that gender and religious identity drive deviating attitudes in both fields, while long-term care expenditure mitigates scepticism among Catholics but less so among Muslims.

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Verena Benoit Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany

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Eva-Maria Euchner Fliedner University of Applied Sciences, Germany

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