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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

How benefits recipients perceive themselves through the lens of the mass media

Abstract

"Dominant cultural representations of 'the typical benefits recipient' - notably in reality television and the tabloids - have been marked by an increasing focus on the character and alleged moral defects of individuals. Drawing on interviews from a large-scale German qualitative longitudinal study, this article explores how benefits recipients respond to such negative media images. Our analysis of interviewees' 'identity work' finds that they have internalised and replicate negative public discourses to a surprising extent. The figure of the 'typical' benefits recipient constructed in the media emerges as both a threat to recipients' self-identities, and as a central reference point in the strategies through which they attempt to defend their respectability. The article concludes with some thoughts on the relationship between such negative representations and the political legitimacy of welfare reform." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

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Bibliographical information

Fohrbeck, Anna; Hirseland, Andreas; Ramos Lobato, Philipp (2014): How benefits recipients perceive themselves through the lens of the mass media * some observations from Germany. In: Sociological research online, Vol. 19, No. 4, 8 p.
 

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