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Reframing Social Citizenship$
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Peter Taylor-Gooby

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199546701

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546701.001.0001

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The Assumptive World of Welfare State Reform

The Assumptive World of Welfare State Reform

Chapter:
(p.55) 4 The Assumptive World of Welfare State Reform
Source:
Reframing Social Citizenship
Author(s):

Peter Taylor‐Gooby

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546701.003.0004

This chapter develops the arguments about individual rational action and social and public policy discussed in Chapters 2 and 3 and relates them to social science theories of agency. It argues that a central problem of social science is the reconciliation of the everyday life experience of individual choice and agency with the evidence that people behave in ways that are co-ordinated and largely cohesive in societies. It distinguishes individual rational actor traditions from those that stress the role of normative principles and of symbolic communication and expressiveness in action. It shows how the individual rational actor approach is increasingly attractive to policy makers, because it offers a framework in which policies can be developed and justified on the grounds that they reinforce an appropriate structure of incentives.

Keywords:   rational actor, expressiveness, communication, symbol, norm, agency, policy, incentives, choice, cohesion

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