Santa Claus is Coming to Town

At the end of the year, two academic rewards came in – two articles I contributed to are accepted for publication. In the first article – “The Inevitable Deservingness Gap. A Study into the Insurmountable Immigrant Penalty in Perceived Welfare Deservingness” – Tom van der Meer and I continue on the study of the welfare deservingness of immigrants. A link to the paper will follow as soon as it’s in press at the Journal of European Social Policy, but from the abstract, we read:

Albeit studies on welfare deservingness show that immigrants are deemed least entitled to welfare compared to other target groups, such studies have fallen short to isolate welfare claimants’ identity (i.e. foreign origin) to rivaling deservingness criteria that might explain the immigrant deservingness gap. This paper studies the importance of welfare claimants’ foreign origin relative to other theoretically relevant deservingness criteria via a unique vignette experiment among 23,000 Dutch respondents about their preferred levels of unemployment benefits. We show that foreign origin is among the three most important conditions for reduced solidarity, after labor-market reintegration behavior (reciprocity) and culpability for unemployment (control). Further, favorable criteria do not close the gap between immigrants and natives in perceived deservingness, emphasizing the difficulty to overcome the immigrant penalty in perceived welfare deservingness.

The second paper is titled “Imagining Class: A Study into Material Social Class Position, Subjective Identification, and Voting Behavior across Europe” and flows from the upcoming dissertation of Peter Achterberg and my PhD-student, Lorenzo D’Hooge. In his dissertation, Lorenzo focuses on the sources as well as consequences of the discordance between material or ‘objective’ class positions (i.e. the social classes sociologists classify people in according to occupational information, among other characteristics), and ‘subjective’ class identification. From existing research it is known that only half of the people correctly identifies with the social class they according to their material status belong to, making that half either inflates or deflates his/her class position. In this paper, published in Social Science Research, Lorenzo, Peter and I look at the consequences of class discordance on voting behavior.

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