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The rise of an ‘anti-welfare commonsense’ – stigma, neoliberalism and welfare reform

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


This paper explore what social, economic and cultural conditions have made it possible for successive governments to reform and ultimately dismantle Britain’s welfare system. There exists significant scholarship that link neoliberal ideologies with such changes, underscoring free-market economic policies, a shrinking state and deepening social inequalities. But how has consensus for these changes been secured? Drawing on research conducted with Professor Imogen Tyler (Rethinking the Sociology of Stigma: https://thestigmadoctrine.wordpress.com/) I will explore the relationship between welfare reform and ‘heightened stigmatization in daily life and public discourse’ (Wacquant, 2010) to reveal stigmatization as a central dimension of creating an ‘anti-welfare commonsense’ (Jensen & Tyler, 2015).

Event (Conference)

TitlePsychologists and the Benefit System
LocationSt Thomas Centre
CountryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionNational event