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Public attitudes to poverty and welfare, 1983- 2011: Analysis using British Social Attitudes data

The aim of this analysis was to explore how far patterns of change in public attitudes to poverty and welfare relate to (and may be explained by) political and economic
developments and experiences, both at the individual and societal level. Focussing on long-standing measures of attitudes in these areas, analysis of data collected through the British Social Attitudes survey over the past three decades was undertaken to explore:

  • public attitudes to poverty and welfare and how these have changed over time;
  • whether attitudes have changed in consistent ways and directions for different sections of society (defined by age, party political affiliation and socio-economic grouping);
  • and how attitudinal changes link with, and might be explained by, political party policy and rhetoric and economic circumstances (both of the individual and within Britain as a whole).