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Abstract

This article casts doubt on conventional thinking about selectivism and its narrow focus on the selective process. It is argued that selectivity is fairly neutral; even universal access to welfare is not free from the attachment of social stigma to welfare beneficiaries. The increase in benefits standards, another common strategy advocated by egalitarians, may not produce the desirable de-stigmatized effect for beneficiaries. Our status ranking conception of social relations, reflecting the operation of the success ideology, holds the key to the transfer of social stigma in the social exchange of welfare benefits. In this regard, we need .to study the relation between the selective process and its ideological and institutional context, as well as the case for the conditional use of selectivity by means test.

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