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Mind the gap: Young people and welfare-state related knowledge in deservingness and welfare attitude research

Sowula, Jakub (2023). Mind the gap: Young people and welfare-state related knowledge in deservingness and welfare attitude research. Journal of European Social Policy, 34 (1), pp. 101-114 SAGE Publications. 10.1177/09589287231222884

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Welfare deservingness opinions help explain welfare attitudes and hence are crucial for understanding the social legitimacy of the welfare state. However, even when considering deservingness alongside other explanatory frameworks, many open questions remain in the welfare attitude framework. This article argues that a novel research agenda focusing on welfare-state related knowledge and young people could considerably enrich current debates in deservingness and welfare attitude research. Deservingness assessments are made heuristically and could greatly depend on what people know (especially when they are misinformed). Studying this with young people is highly relevant, as the formative years are crucial for welfare attitude formation and change, even later in life. Research with young people provides unique opportunities for disentangling causal mechanisms between welfare-state related knowledge, deservingness and welfare attitudes. Moreover, it could help challenge welfare-state related misinformation and build resilience against disinformation. This thematic review outlines benefits, blind spots, and research trajectories when focusing on knowledge and young people in deservingness and welfare attitude research.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

PHBern Contributor:

Sowula, Jakub




SAGE Publications


[21 s 0010 01] Knowledge, Deservingness and Social Policy Attitudes from a Student's Perspective




Jakub Sowula

Date Deposited:

18 Jan 2024 10:34

Last Modified:

28 Jan 2024 00:11

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

welfare attitudes, welfare deservingness, welfare state legitimacy, political knowledge, youth attitudes, misinformation and disinformation




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