A Study on the Social Cleavage Structure of Welfare Politics : Beyond the Limitations of Class Theories, towards a New Theoretical Framework

복지정치의 사회적 균열구조에 관한 연구 : 계급론의 한계와 새로운 분석틀

  • Published : 2000.11.30


The conventional framework of welfare politics, based on class concepts, tends to fail in explaining the recent social changes. Theoretical response from the social science diverges into two blocs. One is the postmodernist approach that denies possibility of structural cleavage; the other is the alternative trial that seeks to find various kinds of cleavages. The former approach is to be rejected because there is few empirical supports for it. The latter is too sparse to be applied to the studies of welfare politics that requires a comprehensive analysis. This study starts from critical investigation of such approaches, aiming at providing a theoretical framework that combines merits of existing studies on welfare politics. The theoretical framework of three statuses of welfare rights and duties, which is to be presented as an alternative to the conventional class counterpart, does not only underscore the expansion of welfare rights but also the burden of welfare duties. Hence, it can comprehensively subsume complex existence of interest cleavages of welfare politics. To make a long story short, individual interest, related to the welfare state, will effect individual attitudes toward the welfare state and their ways of political support.