Rebuilding authority in ‘lumpen’ communities: the need for basic income to foster entitlement

Matthew Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article presents an immanent critique of neoliberal welfare reform using observation of participatory research involving left-behind communities in the North East of England and Australia. It argues that harms, such as passivity, invoked to reduce social security and increase conditionality are actually enhanced by austerity, conditionality and philanthropic giving. Deploying Mauss’ conception of the gift suggests that aggressive, conditional giving, combined with consumption through indebtedness, has served to strip individuals of authority. This leads to a radical conclusion: the stated aims of policy platforms like Big Society can only be realized through statutory entitlements like basic income.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20220190
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalOpen Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2023

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