Author Archives: Ben Baumberg Geiger

About Ben Baumberg Geiger

I am a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) at the University of Kent. I also helped set up the collaborative research blog Inequalities, where (after a long break) I am again blogging about inequality-related policy & research. I have a wide range of research interests, at the moment focusing on the role of social science, disability, inequality, deservingness, and the future of the benefits system, and I co-lead the Welfare at a (Social) Distance project (on the benefits system during Covid-19). You can find out more about me at http://www.benbgeiger.co.uk

The elephant in the room of social security reform

Lots of smart people on the left are thinking about how to create a better social security system – but I’m worried. Most seem to agree that there’s a lot wrong with Universal Credit (UC). The five-week wait, the benefits … Continue reading

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Half a million people didn’t take-up Universal Credit at the start of COVID-19 – and why this matters

In a new report, we estimate that in July/August 2020, about half a million people were eligible for Universal Credit (UC) but didn’t claim it. While the headlines are all about the numbers involved, I here want to deal directly … Continue reading

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The effects of information about inequality in different countries

There’s been a surge of research seeing if we can change people’s beliefs by telling them the truth about inequality (as we’ve blogged about on the blog several times before). Understanding what’s going on here is tricky, and I was … Continue reading

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On being more like John Hills

John Hills – a titan of British social policy, and my old PhD supervisor – died just before Christmas. I wanted to write something about John, but it is hard to write in grief. I simply do not have the … Continue reading

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Data on the social impact of COVID-19

Social data and analysis are not the most important issues at the moment (to put it mildly!), but for those of us who aren’t key workers, this is where we can contribute. And data are genuinely important: good decision-making and … Continue reading

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Child poverty and perceptions: a response

This is a guest post by Lizzie Flew – who works for the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) – in response to Elizabeth Clery’s blog post here. In a blog for Inequalities, Elizabeth Clery argues that trends in poverty have … Continue reading

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Has Amber Rudd fixed the DWP’s disability assessments?

It’s been a while since a DWP Secretary of State made a major speech on disability assessments – and given the WCA’s continuing failures (not to mention those of PIP), we should be grateful that Amber Rudd has devoted her … Continue reading

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Does the new poverty measure fully capture disability poverty?

In recent years, we have seen fierce political battles over what poverty is, and the best way of measuring it. The Social Metrics Commission (SMC) is therefore a brave venture – to get a politically diverse group of people to agree how … Continue reading

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Is truth-seeking inherently conservative?

Howard Becker’s 1967 ‘Whose Side Are We On?’ is one of the most famous papers in Sociology – a staple reading for generations of undergraduates, and still the subject of argument between academic sociologists about what Becker actually meant. Yet … Continue reading

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Further increases in public support for benefit claimants

We’ve reached high summer, and this means intense heat, test cricket – and the latest installment of the British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey, our bible for showing how our attitudes have been changing. As ever, I like to review trends … Continue reading

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