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Converging Worlds of Welfare?British and German Social Policy in the 21st Century$
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Jochen Clasen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199584499

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584499.001.0001

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Challenges of ethnic diversity: results from a qualitative study

Challenges of ethnic diversity: results from a qualitative study

Chapter:
(p.52) 4 Challenges of ethnic diversity: results from a qualitative study
Source:
Converging Worlds of Welfare?
Author(s):

Christoph Burkhardt

Steffen Mau

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584499.003.0004

In recent decades, European welfare states faced increasing migration resulting in more diverse populations. In contrast to former times, when the access to welfare benefits was closely tied to citizenship, western welfare states have become more inclusive by making welfare eligibility increasingly a matter of residency. The chapter asks how this process is discussed and evaluated by the public, building on an analysis of focus group interviews. By taking a comparative perspective, it also investigates whether one finds significant differences between views of German and British focus group participants. Although German respondents were slightly more positive in their evaluation of immigration, there are also similarities between respondents from both countries. For example, German and British respondents welcome productive contributions by migrants to maintain the sustainability of the welfare state. On the other hand, ethnic segregation and disproportionate dependency on welfare by immigrants were highlighted as negative side-effects. Overall, it is argued that while the unconditional inclusion of immigrants into the welfare state is met with reservation, people tend to agree with the politics of inclusion if they feel that immigrants are contributing to society, in particular through labour market participation.

Keywords:   ethnic diversity, public social attitudes, migration, inclusion, welfare state, qualitative data, focus groups

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