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Durham e-Theses
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Citizenship: a multi-faceted concept?

Thompson, Wendy (1997) Citizenship: a multi-faceted concept? Masters thesis, Durham University.



The aim of this thesis is to challenge the universalistic concept of citizenship. Throughout the thesis it will be argued that citizenship is a multi- faceted concept irreducible to a singular explanation. Arguably, the universal nature of citizenship has been called into question by the process of globalisation from 'above' and by regionalism from 'below’. However, the belief that the nation-state is moribund is a fallacious assumption, and it will be shown that although the power of the nation-state has indeed been curbed - through, for example, the activities of 'Transnational Corporations' and 'Global Communications Networks' - it is still a key player in determining citizenship rights. To consider the nation-state to be irrelevant is to undermine the strong psychological influence it still exerts. Nevertheless, citizenship must begin to look beyond the universal to the particular, and begin to encompass the notion of 'difference', as arguably citizenship as well as being a legal status is also a source of identity. In its present state, citizenship is militating against certain groups, and if harmony is to be maintained within society then citizenship must be an inclusive category. This thesis does not pretend to provide the definitive answer to 'what is a citizen', it is an exploration of a highly complex concept, which is not reducible to one snappy sound-bite. However, ultimately, because of the complex nature of citizenship, there must be a reconsideration of the universality of citizenship, and 'difference' must be encompassed to fit with the diversity of cultures experienced within societies.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1997
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:39

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