Dependent, Deprived or Deviant? The Case of Single Mothers in Denmark

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The article explores how categories of deserving and undeserving groups are established in policy designs and how social
target groups are constructed according to such distinctions. Institutionalised systems of exclusion and inclusion have a
profound impact on citizenship and substantial democracy. Neoliberalist political ideas and attitudes have strengthened
the focus on deserving and undeserving groups over the last years and spurred a popular belief that welfare fraud is rampant.
This tendency has led to a retrenchment of established rights and increasing use of illiberal means to further punish
the undeserving. This article discusses these issues further by looking at the position of lone mothers in Denmark and
how they constitute a social target group defined by their class, gender, ethnic, and religious differences. Categories of
deservingness are also framed in national narratives and politics of belonging.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitics and Governance
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)170-179
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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