International Handbooks on Gender series
Edited by Jill Steans and Daniela Tepe
In the authoritative body of mainstream work, citizenship has typically been conceptualized in a universal, often abstract manner, easily leading to its construction as a very general, supposedly ‘objective’ notion. Such leanings to decontextualize tend to locate the concept of citizenship within the nation-state and, simultaneously, neglect the diversified contexts in which citizenship, and gendered citizenship in particular, are practised, articulated and experienced. Citizenship is usually conceived as based in rights, responsibilities and/or obligations, and is inclusive of, and sometimes conflates, political and economic entitlements, access and belonging. This involves, in different combinations and to different degrees, not only formal political representation, but also social and cultural rights, access to state machinery and public services, and allegiance to, support for and recruitment to nation, national militaries and militarisms. T.H. Marshall’s (1950) analysis of citizenship has greatly impacted on debates on the issue. Based in socio-historical analysis of the evolution of citizenship in the UK and making links between the rise of capitalism from the eighteenth century until the twentieth century, the work of Marshall defines citizenship as a status bestowed on individuals who are full members of a community.
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