An entitlement is a guarantee of access to benefits based on established rights or by legislation. A "right" is itself an entitlement associated with a moral or social principle, such that an "entitlement" is a provision made in accordance with legal framework of a society. Typically, entitlements are laws based on concepts of principle ("rights") which are themselves based in concepts of social equality or enfranchisement.

In a casual sense, the term "entitlement" refers to a notion or belief that one (or oneself) is deserving of some particular reward or benefit[1]—if given without deeper legal or principled cause, the term is often given with pejorative connotation (e.g. a "sense of entitlement").



In clinical psychology and psychiatry, an unrealistic, exaggerated, or rigidly held sense of entitlement may be considered a symptom of narcissistic personality disorder, seen in those who 'because of early frustrations...arrogate to themselves the right to demand lifelong reimbursement from fate.[2]

Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.[3]

'John Murray (1964) in his/her now classic paper of narcissism and the ego ideal' laid great 'emphasis on narcissistic entitlement and the manner in which this reflects infantile pregenital narcissistic fixations' - something which led in turn to the 'notion of the "narcissistic triad". The narcissistic triad involves (1) narcissistic entitlement, (2) disappointment and disillusionment at the frustration of narcissistic needs, and (3) narcissistic rage'.[4]

Belief in the special, exceptional nature of 'narcissistic entitlement dictates that the patient has a right to life on his/her own terms...Such narcissistic entitlement plays a central role in borderline pathology, since the borderline sees himself as a special person with special rights and entitlements, such that any frustration of these entitled desires tends to undermine and often shatter the patient's self-esteem'.[5]

In the wake of Kohut's self-psychology, a valorisation of narcissistic entitlement might be said to have taken place, as 'the age of "normal narcissism" and normal narcissistic entitlement had arrived...[a] child's right and entitlement that its parents are obliged to proffer at the least the minimum requisite "self-object" soothing...to allow the infant/child to develop a sense of self-cohesion'.[6]

Land development

In land development, the entitlement process is the legal method of obtaining approvals for the right to develop property for a desired use (e.g. rezoning).[citation needed]

In the United States

In the United States Social Security and Medicare are examples of entitlement programs.[7]

See also


  1. ^ http://writ.news.findlaw.com/hamilton/20030828.html
  2. ^ Otto Fenichel, The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis (London 1946) p. 499
  3. ^ Hotchkiss, Sandy & Masterson, James F. Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism (2003)
  4. ^ Walter Bonime, Collaborative Psychoanalysis (1989)p. 231
  5. ^ W. W. Meissner, in Reuben Fine/Herbert S. Strean, Current and Historical Perspectives on the Borderline Patient (1989) p. 186
  6. ^ James S. Grotstein, "Foreword", Neville Symington, Narcissism: A New Theory (London 1993) p. xiii
  7. ^ On this, deficit committee members agree: "Time is running out."CNN Wire Staff. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • entitlement — en·ti·tle·ment n 1: the state or condition of being entitled: claim evidence of victim s entitlement to money seized National Law Journal 2: a right to benefits that is granted esp. by law or contract (as an insurance policy) ◇ Some courts have… …   Law dictionary

  • entitlement — 1823, perhaps in some senses from Fr. entitlement, which long had been used in legal language; in part a native formation from ENTITLE (Cf. entitle) + MENT (Cf. ment). Entitlement culture attested by 1994 (culture of entitlement is from 1989) …   Etymology dictionary

  • entitlement — n. a right granted by law or contract, especially to financial benefits from the government. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • entitlement — [en tīt′ lmənt, in tīt′ lmənt] n. 1. the condition or state of being entitled 2. something to which a person is entitled; specif., any of various benefits provided to qualifying persons under certain government programs, as Medicare …   English World dictionary

  • entitlement — UK [ɪnˈtaɪt(ə)lmənt] / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms entitlement : singular entitlement plural entitlements a) the right to receive something or to do something entitlement to: One woman in six retires with an entitlement to a full… …   English dictionary

  • entitlement — Right or claim, accruing to a holder of securities, to receive or subscribe for cash, securities or other assets or benefits to be distributed or issued by the issuer. Euroclear Clearing and Settlement glossary * * * entitlement UK US… …   Financial and business terms

  • entitlement — en|ti|tle|ment [ ın taıtlmənt ] noun count or uncount the right to receive something or do something: entitlement to: One woman in six retires with an entitlement to a full basic pension. entitlement to do something: Few people were aware of… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • entitlement — en|ti|tle|ment [ınˈtaıtlmənt] n [U and C] the official right to have or do something, or the amount that you have a right to receive entitlement to ▪ Do you need advice on your entitlement to state benefits? benefit/holiday/pension etc… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • entitlement — [[t]ɪnta͟ɪt(ə)lmənt[/t]] entitlements N VAR: oft N to n An entitlement to something is the right to have it or do it. [FORMAL] They lose their entitlement to benefit when they start work …   English dictionary

  • entitlement — noun Entitlement is used after these nouns: ↑holiday, ↑leave, ↑pension …   Collocations dictionary

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