Work for welfare and civic equality

Paper


Hammer, Sara. 2004. "Work for welfare and civic equality." Carlson, Ellen (ed.) 6th Path to Full Employment Conference/11th National Unemployment Conference. Newcastle, Australia Newcastle, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

Work for welfare and civic equality

Presentation TypePaper
Authors
AuthorHammer, Sara
EditorsCarlson, Ellen
Journal or Proceedings TitleA Future that Works: Economics, Employment and the Environment: Proceedings of the 6th Path to Full Employment Conference and the 11th National Conference on Unemployment,
Number of Pages7
Year2004
Place of PublicationNewcastle, Australia
ISBN1920701494
Conference/Event6th Path to Full Employment Conference/11th National Unemployment Conference
Event Details
6th Path to Full Employment Conference/11th National Unemployment Conference
Event Location
Newcastle, Australia
Abstract

Work-for-welfare style unemployment policies have been introduced in the majority of western countries as part of an overarching contractual regime, which demands various prescribed forms of reciprocation of citizens who require government income support. Communitarian scholar, Lawrence Mead, argues that such policies are ethically justified because they demand 'civic equality' of unemployed citizens. This paper contends that the coercive dimension of work-for-welfare has the potential to reinforce public perceptions that unemployed citizens are morally inferior, which itself reinforces the social stigma of being unemployed. Based on this interpretation, the concept of civic equality underpinning work-for-welfare is inconsistent with a belief in the dignity of the individual. One could argue that this belief is an important prerequisite for designing unemployment and employment policies that take seriously the notion of civic equality. To support this paper's argument, it will briefly discuss the philosophy and practice of a Queensland-based employment agency that begins from this standpoint.

Keywordsunemployment, welfare, work-for-the-dole
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440712. Social policy
500104. Human rights and justice issues (excl. law)
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsGriffith University
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/9y42x/work-for-welfare-and-civic-equality

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