- Copyright Page
- List of Contributors
- Cognitive Sociology and the Cultural Mind: debates, directions, and challenges
- Cognitive Sociology: between the personal and the universal mind
- Critical Theory and Cognitive Sociology
- Pierre Bourdieu as Cognitive Sociologist
- Embodied Cognition: sociology’s role in bridging mind, brain, and body
- The Old One-Two: preserving analytical dualism in cognitive sociology
- Can Carnal Sociology Bring Together Body and Soul?: or, who’s afraid of christian wolff?
- Cognitive Sociology and French Psychological Sociology
- Cognitive Science and Social Theory
- Dual-Process Models in Sociology
- Bridging the Vocabularies of Dual-Process Models of Culture and Cognition
- Metaphorical Creativity: the role of context
- Priming and Framing: dimensions of communication and cognition
- Cognitive Linguistics
- Class, Cognition, and Cultural Change in Social Class
- Cognitive Dichotomies, Learning Directions, and the Cognitive Architecture
- What Is Cultural Fit?: from cognition to behavior (and back)
- Productive Methods in the Study of Culture and Cognition
- An Assessment of Methods for Measuring Automatic Cognition
- Methods for Studying the Contextual Nature of Implicit Cognition
- Social Mindscapes and the Self: the case for social pattern analysis
- Charting the Emergence of the Cultural from the Cognitive with Agent-Based Modeling
- Sociology of Attention: fundamental reflections on a theoretical program
- Risk, Culture, and Cognition
- Cultural Blind Spots and Blind Fields: collective forms of unawareness
- The Sacred, Profane, Pure, Impure, and Social Energization of Culture
- Cognition and Social Meaning in Economic Sociology
- Scientific Analogies and Hierarchical Thinking: lessons from the hive?
- Getting a Foot in the Door: symbolism, door metaphors, and the cognitive sociology of access
- Foregrounding and Backgrounding: the logic and mechanics of semiotic subversion
- War Widows and Welfare Queens: the semiotics of deservingness in the US welfare system
- Perceiving and Enacting Authentic Identities
- Cognitive Migrations: a cultural and cognitive sociology of personal transformation
- The Experience of Time in Organizations
- Silence and Collective Memory
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the sociocognitive dimensions of cultural categorizations of deservingness. The social issue of poverty has been a persistent source of debate in the American system of policy development, influenced by conceptual distinctions between the “haves” and “have-nots,” “working moms” and “unemployed dads,” and the “deserving poor” and the “undeserving poor.” Although there is a wealth of literature discussing the ideological underpinnings of stratification systems, these discussions often focus on categorical distinctions between the poor and the nonpoor, with much less discussion of distinctions made among the poor. Moreover, while scholars of culture and policy have long referenced the importance of cultural categories of worthiness in policy development, the theoretical significance of these distinctions has been largely understudied. I expand the discourse on the relationship between cultural representations of worth and social welfare policy by exploring how these categories are conceptualized. Drawing on analytical tools from a sociology of perception framework, I create a model that examines deservingness along continuums of morality and eligibility to highlight the taken-for-granted cultural subtleties that shape perceptions of the poor. I focus on social filters created by norms of poverty, welfare, and the family to explore how the deserving are differentiated from the undeserving.
Brittany Pearl Battle is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Wake Forest University. Her work examines the child support system and the consequences of state intervention in the family, specifically exploring the influence of norms of morality and deservingness in the use of shame, the conceptualization of parenthood and family, and the criminal justice and economic consquences of involvement with the system. She is a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow and American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship Program recipient.
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