Social State: Exploding the scrounger myth
Blaming the victim is a tactic with a long and dishonourable history. The caricature of the ‘undeserving poor ‘ was precisely what the Beveridge Report set out to challenge, basing the Welfare State, in contrast, on the concept of universal rights and responsibilities for all. But the stigmatisation of welfare recipients as scroungers has continued as a recurrent theme in public policy debates, and especially so from the Thatcher years onwards. In the current situation, the financial crisis has been ideologically reworked, from an economic problem to a political problem, it has been argued: “how to allocate blame and responsibility for the crisis” (Clarke & Newman, 2012).
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