Citizenship in Contemporary Europe

By Michael Lister; Emily Pia | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
Theories of citizenship:
feminism and multiculturalism

INTRODUCTION

The theories of citizenship discussed in the previous chapter, despite their differences, share a view that citizenship is a universal category. This means that for the classical theories of citizenship, no matter how we define citizenship, it should be the same for all citizens, for all members of the community. Whatever rights, responsibilities and duties that the status confers upon one, should be the rights, duties and responsibilities that all share. However, this is a position that has come under some scrutiny and criticism. The foundation of these criticisms might be broadly summed up as a concern with difference. There is a concern that citizenship excludes women and minority groups. Of course, historically speaking, this is an undisputed part of the historical record. Women and ethnic minorities were, in most 'advanced' western societies, simply denied the rights of citizenship. In many ways, both have been seen as property, either as slaves, or as the domestic property of husbands. Over time, the rights of citizenship have been extended to include women and ethnic minorities. However, it is argued that, whilst many of those formally excluded from citizenship are now included, they are not included in the same way and continue to suffer inequalities and oppression, that they are second class citizens. Feminist authors have articulated their concerns regarding citizenship and seek to develop a more gender equal conception of citizenship, whilst multi-cultural theorists stress that citizenship which is truly egalitarian needs to take account of people's different socio-cultural identities. We will consider each of these arguments in detail.

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Citizenship in Contemporary Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents iv
  • Tables and Figures vi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Theories of Citizenship 8
  • Chapter 2 - Theories of Citizenship: Feminism and Multiculturalism 32
  • Chapter 3 - Postnational Citizenship 58
  • Chapter 4 - Political Participation 80
  • Chapter 5 - The Welfare State 107
  • Chapter 6 - Migration in Europe 136
  • Chapter 7 - European Citizenship and European Identity 162
  • Conclusion 190
  • References 197
  • Index 217
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