Us versus Them in the American Welfare State

in Us Against Them

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780226435701
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226435725 | DOI:
Us versus Them in the American Welfare State

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This chapter examines the role of ethnocentrism in public opinion about welfare in the United States. It suggests that ethnocentric Americans are particularly prone to seeing the poor as categorically different and that the ethnocentric will be inclined to favor reducing welfare benefits, tightening eligibility and otherwise turning welfare into work. The chapter argues that ethnocentrism works the way it does among white Americans in the domain of welfare because this domain is racialized.

Keywords: ethnocentrism; public opinion; welfare; United States; welfare benefits; poor

Chapter.  5711 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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