By Malcolm B. Hamilton (auth.)

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As far as this study is concerned, however, the latter is of less significance. Relative deprivation can be of three kinds. Decremental deprivation describes the situation in which expectations remain constant while actual conditions worsen, either because of economic recession or for other reasons. Aspirational deprivation occurs when expectations outstrip actual conditions which have remained constant. 23 Progressive deprivation occurs when a steady improvement in conditions, associated with rising expectations, cannot be sustained but is, instead, reversed.

Without the influence of such ideologies popular attitudes may simply accept economic setbacks as a normal part of life, about which nothing can or should be done. Expectations about the world are always influenced by bodies of ideas which are acquired in socialisation, which are part ofthe environment in which we operate, and which comprise the intellectual equipment with which we may attempt to make sense of the world. 25 A sense of injustice, feelings of relative deprivation, and so on, then, are frequently promoted by the use of ideological elements on the part of parties in their agitation and propaganda.

The relative power approach The most recent and the most promising theoretical approach relevant to our problem might be called the relative power approach, best exemplified in the work of Korpi and Stephens,15 although this is not concerned specifically and directly with the policies of socialist parties, but rather with the general conditions for socialist advance in capitalist society. Korpi argues that the greater the power resources of a socialist movement, 16 in relation to those of its opponents, the more likely it is to mobilise its power for the implementation of changes which will be to the advantage of those it represents.

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