Handbook on Society and Social Policy
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Handbook on Society and Social Policy

Edited by Nicholas Ellison and Tina Haux

This comprehensive Handbook provides a unique overview of the key issues and challenges facing society and social policy in the twenty-first century, discussing how welfare is conceptualised, organised and delivered in contemporary global society. Chapters engage with specific areas of social policy as well as with the social divisions and institutional infrastructures that underpin them. The Handbook also considers how social policy should respond to the challenges posed by austerity, human migration and the climate crisis.
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Chapter 4: Citizenship

Daniel Edmiston


Citizenship as a status concerns who gets what from the terms of membership within a given community. Citizenship as a socio-cultural practice shines light on how and why some are recognized as (worthy) members whilst others are not. Reflecting on this distinction, this chapter starts by briefly outlining T. H. Marshall’s seminal account that has proven influential in shaping, and in many ways constraining, contemporary understandings of citizenship within society and social policy. The chapter considers the contested functions of social citizenship when it comes to capitalism, democracy and inequality. It then problematizes some of the claims underpinning normative and ideological accounts of citizenship. The chapter concludes by discussing the emergence of multiple, shifting citizenships that currently reflect and condition welfare politics. The author argues that the terms of citizenship are being reformulated not just through – but also in revolt against – de-territorialized memberships and ‘flexible’ forms of belonging and entitlement.

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