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Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen x Jaar 2014 x Rubriek Article x

    The Dutch government aims at a participatory society, for example by striving for a larger amount of self-responsibility in providing social care, since the introduction of the Societal Support Law (in Dutch called ‘Wet maatschappelijke ondersteuning’ or in short Wmo). Does public opinion in the Netherlands reflect this change of mentality? This article investigates (a) how far public opinion on responsibility for social care for the elderly has changed between 2003 and 2010, (b) which factors explain why some people put most responsibility on the government and others on the family and (c) which factors explain intra-individual changes of attitude. This research has used survey data from the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study (2003, 2006/07, 2010). A shift in public opinion appears to have taken place in line with government policy: less responsibility for the government and more for the family. However, a majority of the Dutch population still puts most responsibility on the government. Attitudes appear to be connected with normative motives rather than with utilitarian motives. Intra-individual changes in attitudes in the direction of less government responsibility are mainly explained by normative factors and not by factors related to self-interest.


Mevr. dr. Ellen Verbakel
Mevr. dr. C.M.C. Verbakel is universitair docent bij de opleiding Sociologie van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.
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