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How divided is the attitudinal context for policymaking? Changes in public attitudes to the welfare state, inequality and immigration over two decades in Britain

Cooper, Kerris and Burchardt, Tania ORCID: 0000-0003-4822-4954 (2021) How divided is the attitudinal context for policymaking? Changes in public attitudes to the welfare state, inequality and immigration over two decades in Britain. Social Policy and Administration. ISSN 0144-5596

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Identification Number: 10.1111/spol.12739

Abstract

If public attitudes towards the welfare state, inequality and immigration are becoming increasingly polarized, as recent political events might suggest, the space for progressive social policies is more constrained. Using data from the British Social Attitudes Survey (BSA) spanning 23years, we analyse trends in these attitudes, examining whether there has been divergence between those who have been more and less exposed to disadvantage through changes in the economy and the welfare state across more than two decades. Taken in this longer term context, and examining characteristics not previously considered in relation to public attitudes such as lone parenthood and disability, we find little evidence of polarization in attitudes to welfare, inequality and immigration and even some evidence of attitudinal gaps narrowing. We conclude that given this lack of division, there may be greater room for more pro-welfare and progressive policies than the prevalent narrative of polarization suggests.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14679515
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 05 May 2021 10:30
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 01:35
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/110339

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