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Deserving social benefits? Political framing and media framing of 'deservingness' in two welfare reforms in Denmark

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

The article contributes to the growing literature on framing of deservingness as an alternative to ‘blame avoidance’ strategies in the politics of welfare retrenchment. In particular, the article focuses on the interplay between political framing and media framing. Based on an analysis of two major welfare reforms involving reductions of social benefits in Denmark in 2005 and 2013, the article analyses the frames used by politicians supporting and opposing reform, as well as the frames used by the media. The article shows, first, that political reforms reducing social benefits are followed by increased framing of recipients as undeserving. The article finds a strong correlation between the political objective of reducing benefits and the reliance on frames that position recipients as undeserving. Second, the article shows that media framing remains significantly different from political framing in both years. However, the results also show that the media become less critical and more prone to frame recipients as undeserving along with the changes in political framing. Third, the article shows that media coverage of retrenchment reforms will be more critical under conditions of political conflict than in the case of political consensus. However, this result is also qualified by the observation that the media increasingly seek outside sources in order to find alternative voices under conditions approximating political consensus.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of European Social Policy
Vol/bind27
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)417-432
ISSN0958-9287
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2017

ID: 174597218