Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Citizenship undermined : messages received through the social assistance system in contemporary Hungary
Author: Dósa, Mariann
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 2774
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
Very few narratives go as unchallenged about the transition of Central and Eastern European countries from state socialism to market democracies as the following: before the transitions people in these countries had strong social rights but were lacking any civic and political rights, and while the transformations provided the people with firm civil and political citizenship, they lost out on social rights. In my dissertation I argue that this is an oversimplifying and highly distorted narrative that is blind to the deep inequalities in these societies. My research focused on one particular means of reproducing these inequalities, namely welfare institutions, and explored what recipients of social assistance provision learned about their citizenship in the post-transition Hungarian welfare complex. This analysis not only demonstrated an inextricable interrelationship between civil, political and social citizenship, but also allowed for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms through which apparent political inequalities were reproduced in practice. By the innovative method of institutional ethnography I constructed a mosaic of the various component elements of the institutional system of social assistance provision in contemporary Hungary and investigated the influence that each had on recipients' civil and political citizenship. This study indicated a marked discrepancy between recipients' ideal and their lived experiences of citizenship, and found that certain characteristics of the system of social assistance provision played a crucial part in reproducing this discrepancy. The high level of discretion in the system, recipients' lack of information, the treatment they underwent in the welfare office, as well as the lack of institutional guarantees that could ensure that they enjoyed equal and fair treatment in all the welfare offices in the country proved to be the most important characteristics of social assistance provision that had direct or indirect effects on recipients' democratic subjectivity.
Supervisor: Bennett, Fran Sponsor: Weidenfeld Scholarships and Leadership Programme
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political sociology ; Welfare policy ; Citizenship studies ; Social policy ; citizenship ; popular participation ; welfare state