The Intersectionality of Deservingness For State Support

Studies of the ramifications of client race and ethnicity for bureaucrats’ judgments treat minority status as homogenous. Yet, individual identity does not boil down to race or ethnicity. Members of racial and ethnic minority groups likely vary in their experiences and capacity to overcome the negative sentiments and stereotypes that burden their inherited group. To transcend unidimensional explanations, we combine Van Oorschot’s deservingness framework and a gendered lens to study how the intersection of group identity and gender, as well as individuals’ work history, co-shape bureaucrats’ categorization of clients. Empirically, we analyze Israeli doctors’ categorization of applicants for state incapacity benefits, comparing their medical assessments of men and women of three social groups: the Jewish majority, Ultra-orthodox Jews, and Muslims. Interpreting the empirical findings, we offer that underlying the effect of applicants’ group demographics are perceived cultural affinity to the majority and social contributions that vary with gender.

Studies of the ramifications of client race and ethnicity for bureaucrats’ judgments treat minority status as homogenous. Yet, individual identity does not boil down to race or ethnicity. Members of racial and ethnic minority groups likely vary in their experiences and capacity to overcome the negative sentiments and stereotypes that burden their inherited group. To transcend unidimensional explanations, we combine Van Oorschot's deservingness framework and a gendered lens to study how the intersection of group identity and gender, as well as individuals' work history, co-shape bureaucrats' categorization of clients. Empirically, we analyze Israeli doctors' categorization of applicants for state incapacity benefits, comparing their medical assessments of men and women of three social groups: the Jewish majority, Ultra-orthodox Jews, and Muslims. Interpreting the empirical findings, we offer that underlying the effect of applicants' group demographics are perceived cultural affinity to the majority and social contributions that vary with gender.

File Type: 13466
Categories: Cultural Competency, Race, Social Equity, Stereotypes