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Inventing the NeedyGender and the Politics of Welfare in Hungary$
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Lynne Haney

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520225718

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520225718.001.0001

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Socializing Need

Socializing Need

The Restructuring of Social and Economic Institutions

(p.25) 1. Socializing Need
Inventing the Needy

Lynne Haney

University of California Press

Early socialist welfare regime (1948–1968) in Hungary had a close fit between state architecture and transmitted consistent messages about the nature of social entitlement. Policies reshaped work and family institutions, while welfare agencies linked clients to these structures. This chapter explores the inner workings of the regime process in which need was socialized in an attempt to restructure social and economic institutions. This socializing need is revealed through an examination of re/distributive and interpretive practices. Entitlements are not linked to the needs of individuals or social groups. Instead, the institutions of economic and social life are interpreted to be in need. Drawing on national-level policy data, documents and files, the link between entitlement and recipient's institutional positions are explicated through the use of central plan and enterprise related benefits. In addition, the process in which welfare workers restructured clients' institutional relations is described. Assistance claims were based on clients' collective roles and responsibilities. In this era, the existing institutions of work and family mediated the relationship between the state and its clients.

Keywords:   socialist welfare regime, institutional position, need, social entitlements, welfare workers

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