Social Citizenship and Urban Revitalization in Canada

By Rosa, Vanessa | Canadian Journal of Urban Research, Winter 2018 | Go to article overview

Social Citizenship and Urban Revitalization in Canada


Rosa, Vanessa, Canadian Journal of Urban Research


Urban revitalization targets neighbourhoods or areas in cities that are deemed in need of "new life." While the term "revitalization" became ubiquitous in the twenty-first century for the regeneration of urban neighborhoods, it is part of a long history of slum clearance, urban renewal, rehabilitation, redevelopment, and gentrification. By providing an overview of key shifts in social/public housing policy in Canada, with particular focus on Toronto, Ontario, I argue that housing policy and urban revitalization are tools for a neoliberal rearticulation of social citizenship in Canada.

I link social citizenship to housing policy to trace the connection between the deconstruction and rescaling of the welfare state and public housing redevelopment via revitalization (or neoliberal state-managed gentrification). In British sociologist T. H. Marshall's famous essay "Citizenship and Social Class" (1950), he argued for a theory of social citizenship that ensures that all members of society are entitled to a basic sense of well-being. (1) Social citizenship is based on the notion that every person in a particular society/polity deserves shared social and economic stability: economic class should not determine one's access to well-being or the ability to live a fulfilling life. Marshall's theory is a response to the exclusion of social rights from definitions of citizenship. He theorizes the evolution of civic and political citizenship in the British context and understands social citizenship to develop in relation to equality and political rights. Under the welfare state, resources that promote individual well-being are ensured by the state and not dependent on one's economic class. As Martha McCluskey (2002, 783) outlines, Marshall's view of social citizenship is based on the theory that "public well-being in a democratic society depends on rights to economic security as well as on political and civil rights."Thus, in Marshall's conceptualization of social citizenship, there is an inherent theory of the state as an actor responsible for welfare service provisions.

Social citizenship, for Marshall, recognizes that individuals exist in relation to broader society with a shared ethos of social good and order that promotes fairness and equality. However, a critical reading of social citizenship sheds light on the limitations of welfare state provisions in relation to capital, in which such provisions produce laborers to serve capital. More specifically, laborers who draw on social supports, such as housing, are then bound to the state and incorporated into the logic of capital. Frank Longstreth labels this "liberal democratic or welfare capitalism" (qtd. in Lacher 1999, 344). In line with Lacher and critics of social citizenship, I understand the possibilities of social citizenship as constrained by the inequality produced and necessitated under capitalism. That is, "well-being" cannot in fact exist apart from inequality because inequality and class/race stratification are inherent in the very structure of welfare capitalism (a paradox of liberal democratic capitalism).

This article builds from such critiques to explore social citizenship in relation to neoliberal urban revitalization. While social citizenship was promoted via public housing under the welfare state, I argue that with a neoliberal rearticulation of social citizenship, it is delivered via urban revitalization. On the surface, the movement away from welfare state policies in relation to a capitalist industrial economy and toward a neoliberal order may appear to be a failure of the government to provide for collective well-being. However, this shift demonstrates a rearticulation of social citizenship where well-being is thought to be delivered via privatization and serves the interests of capital in a postindustrial economic context. By rearticulation of social citizenship, I am referring to how social citizenship is recast and can be promoted through public-private partnerships, state-managed gentrification, and an overall individualist character. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Social Citizenship and Urban Revitalization in Canada
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.