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dc.contributor.advisorHill, Lisa-
dc.contributor.advisorErrington, Wayne-
dc.contributor.authorCoram, Veronica-
dc.description.abstractExisting redistributive policy settings tend to magnify the impact of demographic and structural economic change on young people, including children, while providing more protection for older citizens. It can no longer be assumed that today’s young people will be relatively better off across their lives in terms of economic resources and opportunities than their grandparents. The thesis investigates the extent of this problem, public attitudes towards it, and the factors that might explain these attitudes. Fieldwork undertaken for the thesis aimed to determine whether young adult and senior Australians perceived current policy settings differently, how they formed their views and whether there was any support for policy reform. The fieldwork took a mixed methods approach comprising a survey and interviews with a sample of 55 participants across two age groups (18-24-year-olds and 60-70-year-olds). There were commonalities between the two groups, with both showing high levels of support for the welfare state and redistribution of income based on a strong commitment to egalitarianism, though tempered by endorsement of means-testing and other forms of conditionality. The fieldwork results aligned with prior research on the complexity of attitudes towards redistributive policy in highly meritocratic societies, with participants sometimes struggling to reconcile different values that were important to them. The key differences between the young adult and senior participants lay in how they resolved these tensions. The young adults were more likely to prioritise the values of freedom, individualism and personal rights. They were also more tolerant of market outcomes. Senior participants were more likely to prioritise equality, collectivism and responsibilities and they tended to expect more from government. Neither the young adults nor the seniors felt particularly strongly about reforming redistributive policy in the interests of fairness across age groups and sustainability into the future. The seniors were relatively sympathetic to the issues faced by young people, but factors mitigating against their active support for change included a relatively short-term outlook, a view that older people had earned the right to benefits in ways that young people had not and a tendency by some to associate need with a failure of individual responsibility. The young participants took a pragmatic view of the existing economic order, recognising the ways that it produced inequality but not holding any agents accountable or seeing any possibility of change. Their prioritisation of individual autonomy, relativistic approach to personal choice and comfort with consumption and market-oriented norms meant they didn’t actively seek any alternatives to existing redistributive policy settings. The tendency of the young participants to acquiesce to the existing economic order despite perceiving it as unfair was an unexpected finding. A range of possible explanatory factors are considered, including how conditions of relative prosperity and the neo-liberal norms prevalent in Australia over the last three decades have influenced attitudes towards redistributive policy.en
dc.subjectIntergenerational inequalityen
dc.subjectredistributive policyen
dc.subjectpolicy attitudesen
dc.subjectwelfare statesen
dc.titleFuture Benefits, Future Burdens: Age, Policy Attitudes and Values in Australiaen
dc.contributor.schoolSchool of Social Sciences : Politics and International Relationsen
dc.provenanceThis electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
dc.description.dissertationThesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2020en
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