Deserving and undeserving poor: Assessments of claims made on kin and state in Cape Town, South Africa

Presenter(s): Professor Jeremy Seekings

Venue: CSSR Seminar Room,Leslie Social Science,Room 4.29 Upper Campus.

Abstract / Description: 

The distinction between the deserving and undeserving poor is fundamental to the design of most welfare states. Similarly, private individuals typically discriminate in who they do and do not support, for example supporting close kin more than distant kin. This paper examines how young South Africans distinguish between deserving and undeserving claimants on both the state and kin. Data are from survey experiments using vignettes included in the fifth wave of the Cape Area Panel Study (2009). I show that there are clear and generally intuitive hierarchies of desert with respect to both public and private welfare. I examine how these are affected by the characteristics of the respondent, and the efficacy of attempts to persuade respondents to change their minds. Finally, I examine the relationship between the perceived hierarchy of desert with respect to public welfare and the perceived hierarchy with respect to private welfare.

Tue, 07 May 2013 -
13:00 to 14:00