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    Welfare conditionality and blaming the unemployed

    McGann, Michael and Nguyen, Phuc and Considine, Mark (2020) Welfare conditionality and blaming the unemployed. Administration and Society, 52 (3). pp. 466-494. ISSN 1552-3039

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    Welfare recipients are increasingly subject to various forms of work-related conditionality that, critics argue, presuppose a ‘pathological’ theory of unemployment that stigmatises welfare recipients as de-motivated to work. Drawing on surveys of Australian frontline employment services staff, we examine the extent to which caseworkers attribute being on benefits to recipients’ lack of motivation, and whether this problem figuration of unemployment is associated with a ‘harder edged’ approach to activation. We find that it is, although it is diminishing. This reflects how frontline discretion has become more routinised from the application of more intensive forms of performance monitoring and compliance auditing.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the preprint version of the accepted article, which is available at McGann, M., Nguyen, P., & Considine, M. (2020). Welfare Conditionality and Blaming the Unemployed. Administration & Society, 52(3), 466–494.
    Keywords: welfare-to-work; welfare conditionality; welfare governance; frontline delivery; street-level bureaucracy;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, MUSSI
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
    Item ID: 13006
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Michael McGann
    Date Deposited: 28 May 2020 15:37
    Journal or Publication Title: Administration and Society
    Publisher: Sage
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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