A brave new citizenry: exploring Canadian welfare state retrenchment through changing citizenship
Sanscartier, Matthew Daniel
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In the early 1970s, the Canadian welfare state began a radical transformation in which Canadians were left with a weaker social safety net in the areas of income supports, social services, and social legislation, a transformation that Canadians are coping with today. This thesis is an investigation of the extent to which Canadians found this transformation in their welfare state desirable. Using the Canadian Election Study from 1965 to 2011, I demonstrate that Canadians underwent an ideological shift within this time frame in which “being Canadian” has acquired connotations of self-reliance through work and the market, a phenomenon I refer to as the individuation of the Canadian citizenry. I conclude that while Canadians may have undergone significant individuation from the 1970s to the present, Canadians are still considerably collective with respect to more inclusive social policy areas such as healthcare and education.