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Setting out the broader conceptual framework and debates, this chapter considers the central influence of citizenship as a concept in the development of the welfare state. Exploring the development of citizen rights and the emergence of the imagined communities of nation-states provides a historic overview on the formation of contemporary citizenship narratives. This is then contested for the often male, heteronormative, cis, White and able-bodied assumptions within citizenship narratives to explore the centrality of diversity within citizenship status. Drawing on Hoffman’s (2004) account of citizenship as a momentum concept, the chapter seeks to set out a critical framework which can be drawn through the various chapters and revisited in the Conclusion.

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This chapter highlights the recurring themes of the contributions to this text: that below the veneer of celebrating diversity, there is still a long way to travel before we reach a place that even closely resembles equality. It revisits some of the key debates explored in Chapters 2 and 3 to explore the complex interplay of ideology, policy, legislation and the positionality of specific groups which shapes welfare provision. Further, the chapter draws out some of the book’s key contributions to debates regarding citizenship and welfare, to highlight how citizenship provides access to services and the provision that people need to ensure a level playing field, but it also challenges the assumption that welfare improves lives, by recognising a series of increasingly evident fracture lines within society.

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The events of COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions have affected the livelihoods of many while testing the suitability of the UK’s welfare system to support those who are most in need. This chapter discusses the role of the welfare system in supporting disabled people entering work through self-employment and entrepreneurship. It maps out the existing welfare support schemes for disabled self-employed people. More specifically, it explores whether Universal Credit has stood the test of the pandemic in supporting aspiring and established disabled entrepreneurs.

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Romani and Gypsy Travellers face some of the starkest inequalities across the social policy spectrum of any minority group, and their lived experience is one of prejudice and discrimination. This chapter outlines these long-standing inequalities before examining the impact of austerity policies and the COVID-19 pandemic. The chapter ends with an examination of how we can tackle these inequalities.

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This chapter analyses the diverse graduate trajectories of young working-class women from the UK. While a university education has long been considered a catalyst for upward social mobility, the opportunities for graduates to attain this mobility have been declining since the turn of the century. Little research has examined the graduate paths of working-class women and their experiences of negotiating routes of social mobility. Drawing on these voices and utilising a Bourdieusian analytical framework, this chapter examines what the transitions of working-class women out of university are marked by, and the barriers that restrain their social mobility. This is foregrounded by a discussion of higher education policy and academic literature which has examined the condition of the graduate employment market and welfare state, and the impact of increasing rates of precarity on young graduates.

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Tension and Discrimination in 21st Century Britain
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Recognising diverse groups within society is a vital part of policy research and analysis, yet few texts have drawn together the breadth of experiences of welfare provision from a diverse group of citizens.

This book fills this gap, by exploring how diverse citizens experience welfare provision. It aims to promote debate about the importance of social divisions in society and to address the gaps in research, in relation to race, ethnicity, disability, gender and LGBTQ+.

It comes at a crucial time as we emerge out of a decade of austerity, a global pandemic and Brexit, where issues of diversity have been at the forefront of debates, and renews the call for analysis within social policy, particularly on issues of diversity in the 21st century context.

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This chapter provides a brief introduction to the topic of this book. It considers the topicality of debates around citizenship and diversity, exploring ongoing tensions (primarily in the UK context). Attention is given to the impact of the Black Lives Matters campaigns, the inequalities exposed by COVID-19 and the developing cultural war around trans people to illustrate that there are ongoing tensions around diversity, discrimination and a failed application of equal citizenship status. The chapter concludes with a brief overview of the structure and subsequent chapters within the book.

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Many victims of domestic abuse feel unable to report their experiences due to the stigmatisation or disbelief they may experience. Male victims further struggle due to society’s gendered expectations of masculinity. These embedded societal structure issues create barriers for male victims to report their abuse. This chapter will explore the experience of men undergoing domestic violence and their access to health services. The research provided men with the opportunity to share their stories of abuse and their perceptions regarding medical support (for injuries) and/or of reporting their abuse. The chapter considers the adequacy of support for male victims when seeking medical attention and reviews the types of injuries suffered. In addition, it considers the events and interactions with service providers experienced by men when reporting abuse/presenting visual physical injury to consider experiences of stigma that create barriers to accessing support.

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The Equality Act 2010 is understood to be an all-encompassing approach to safeguarding defined protected characteristics and is a vital instrument of anti-discrimination legislation. However, following the introduction of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, and the recent decade of ideological austerity, precarity and hunger are now an everyday occurrence for many working-class people, as levels of social protection have been stripped away leaving many vulnerable and in need. The association of class identity has equally been eroded following 40 years of neoliberalism, blurring the lines between the classes, yet simultaneously increasing levels of precarity for the working class. This has been no more obvious than in the increasing queues at food banks, providing a safety-net for the most precarious of the working class.

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This chapter discusses key theories of racialisation applied to the UK welfare state. These theories suggest that racialisation occurs when racial categories grounded in histories of oppression manifest in contemporary social institutions, resulting in racial hierarchies in society (Omi and Winant, 2015; Feagin, 2006, Bonilla-Silva, 1997). Consequently, the core argument is that institutions are racialised when formal rules, informal conventions (practices) and narratives (Lowndes and Roberts, 2013) perpetuate the exclusion and subordination of racially minoritised people at the macro, meso and micro levels (Phillips, 2011). This chapter uses Universal Credit as a case to illustrate how institutions in the UK welfare state are racialised. It concludes with reflections on how these institutions could be reimagined.

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