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Does risk society erode welfare state solidarity?

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  • 1 School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent, , UK
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An influential literature suggests that the transition from modern industrial society is accompanied by an erosion of solidarities. Everyday life risks become understood as issues of personal failure and responsibility rather than social problems to be addressed through collective action. A corresponding welfare literature analyses the way policy change highlights individual responsibility and proactivity as a result of the constraints on government from globalisation, post-industrialism and other changes. This article uses recent attitude data to investigate whether risk society dissolves traditional welfare state solidarities, and how far it offers a basis for new solidarities to maintain support for vulnerable groups.

  • 1 School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent, , UK

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