entitlements(redirected from entitlement)
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entitlementsthe rights to social welfare payments and provision which exist in most modern societies for all CITIZENS, but which are also the subject of dispute. For example, L. Mead (Beyond Entitlements, 1985) has argued that one-sided talk of entitlements has led to the neglect of‘obligations’. All Western capitalist states have experienced problems in sustaining both welfare provision and ‘capitalist accumulation’ (see FISCAL CRISIS IN THE CAPITALIST STATE, CULTURAL CONTRADICTIONS OF CAPITALISM, LEGITIMATION CRISIS, THATCHERISM). On the other hand, there are many who argue that a recognition of the rights of all citizens and workers to basic entitlements at a high minimum level (i.e. a new SOCIAL CONTRACT) is essential if the modern conception of CITIZENSHIP and CITIZEN RIGHTS is to be maintained and extended. See also UNDERCLASS.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000