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Class or individual habitus? Willingness to spend more on reconciliation policies in Europe

Sigita Doblytė (Department of Sociology, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)
Aroa Tejero (Department of Sociology, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 16 June 2022

Issue publication date: 23 May 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

Public willingness to pay for extra public benefits and services may demonstrate a tension between the common good (more services) and economic motives (higher taxes for all). In this article, the authors present an analysis of this trade-off by drawing upon the Bourdieusian theory of social reproduction and habitus.

Design/methodology/approach

Employing the European Social Survey (2016), the authors first examine the patterns of relationships between the agents' position in the social structure and their attitudes across care regimes in Europe. The authors then analyse whether this link is mediated by agents' individual trajectories and dispositions, such as their beliefs towards equality or tradition, political orientation, or religiosity.

Findings

The findings support the importance of both sociation and individuation in habitus formation, albeit to varying degrees across the regimes. Individual attitudes are therefore shaped not only by interests of reproducing or maximising social positions but also by more reflexive propensities to think about the common good.

Originality/value

In this article, the authors draw upon the theory of social reproduction and habitus by Pierre Bourdieu, who has been thus far rarely employed in the study of welfare attitudes. The article also contributes to the literature that studies the trade-off between the expansion and financing of reconciliation policies.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This research forms part of the Research Project “Occupational welfare in Spain: mapping, determinants and effects” (BIOCES) funded by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Spain (MINECO-18-CSO-82648-R).

Conflicts of interest/Competing interests: The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Citation

Doblytė, S. and Tejero, A. (2023), "Class or individual habitus? Willingness to spend more on reconciliation policies in Europe", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 43 No. 5/6, pp. 436-453. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-04-2022-0089

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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