Citizenship: are becoming more prominent in post-war deliberations

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This chapter aids us to grasp how Britain,
according to James Hampshire (2005), has turned into a multi-racial society against
the wishes of its politicians and a large proportion of its people. Hampshire (2005)
delves into the politics of immigration in post-war Britain and brings to light
how unease about public health service and welfare scrounging impacts government
policy and influences changes made to the law. Hampshire (2005) puts forward
the argument that radical ideas are becoming more prominent in post-war deliberations
about immigration and says that the such deliberations have serious
consequences on our society. He demonstrates clearly in his argument how the
government claims to appeal to the notion of “belonging” (pp. 126) so they can validate
racialized policies put in place to slow down the immigration rates from
previously colonised countries such as Algeria and Morocco. As immigration has been a prominent topic of conversation
on the political agenda over the past decade, Hampshire gives an essential framework
to present-day debates by demonstrating how notions about race, demography and
belonging overlap to shape immigration policy. One
strength which cannot be overlooked in this text is Hampshire’s referencing to a
large wealth of contemporary archival material to back up this argument, his fascinating
analysis alters the way we consider citizenship. I Find it extremely potent how he incorporates
old case studies with recent ones to bridge between historical and contemporary
debates, overall, this create a well-rounded argument.


In her introduction, Marilyn Friedman (2005) outlines the complexity of the term “citizenship”.
She believes it is hard to pinpoint exactly one definition to the word, as she
goes onto stating some definitions: it can be a set of privileges, rights and responsibilities;
however, it can also be seen as a relationship between an individual and the
state, this shows us that political terminology. Although citizenship has been
explored through many discipline there is hardly any exploration of the
relationship between gender and citizenship. This comes to me as a surprise, as we know
that women’s global denial of citizenship has a long history and is still ongoing
to date. With reference to works of influential scholars such as Young.
I. M (1980), Jaguar A. M (2003), Martha Nussbaum (2002), and Sandra Bartky (2001),
Freidman takes a fresh cope in the way she addresses citizenship as she discusses
in depth the relevance of culture and politics in influencing women’s experience
of citizenship. At the heart of the argument in this text is the conceptual problems
and gimmicks which helps to influence the feminist pursuit to give woman full
citizenship status and stop customs, and conditions which extenuate women’s
citizenship in many parts of the world. One prominent example of women’s
citizenship being compromised due to traditions, is in Saudi Arabia where women
are deprived of mundane rights such as Driving. We can see clearly that this is
oppressive of women’s autonomy and citizenship.

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The overarching topic in both readings is the politics of citizenship,
however, both authors take different focal points to their argument about the experience
of citizenship. Hampshire considered the legalities and policies surrounding
immigration while Freidman approaches as she thinks about citizenship through
gender and not as a stand-alone topic.















In his book, George Monbiot (2017) starts by describing our post-modern
society, which is characterised by extreme individualism, as toxic. Monbiot argues
that current political discourses are causing cultural amnesia as people draw
apart more and more everyday as a result of feeling they no longer have a
common purpose.  After having carries out
a great depth on psychological, sociological and political research, he believes
that the only way to fix the current global disengagement with politics is to
reinvent the political discourse, instead of campaigning harder and using propaganda
to gain votes on the current political agendas they should alter them make them
more focused on belonging than anything else, he argues that this will engage then
entirety of the population. Monbiot states that this will “light a path to a
better world” (pp. 87) by creating what he calls “politics of belonging” (pp. 87).
Further Monbiot suggests that we are in need of new institution through which
people can sculpt their own collective identities as this will combat the prominent
epidemic of alienation. An example which I think is potent in demonstrating Monbiot’s
theory is that of Brexit, our withdrawal from the European union is creating a sense
of separation between us and the rest of the world as we no longer “belong”
with a community we once played a huge part in. This has created a sense of alienation
between people as some of the motivations behind Brexit campaigns were aimed at
stopping immigration to the UK.





In this text, Mark Frezzo (2014) examines human
rights through a sociological perspective, to delineate the social, economic, cultural
and political circumstances through which human rights norms and laws are
interpreted and implemented. In this text Frezzo considers how human right can either serve to “empower”
(pp. 38) certain individuals and communities within society depending on their
social context, for example, the geographical space which they occupy and the
time in history they lived. One strength about this
reading is that it doesn’t limit the discourse of major debates such as globalism
vs. localism to current contexts, instead he gives a wider scope of historical
background as well as contemporary explanations of political,
social, cultural and the economic, conditions under which human rights norms
and laws are implemented. Further the author puts forward the argument that sociology gives us a new
perspective on the way we analyse the roots of human rights for example defines notions such as “rights
effects, rights claims, rights bundles, and rights conditions” in great detail
(pp. 4-5)

Through a feminist and socio-legal outlooks, Jill Marshall
(2016) examines how our identities are protected through human rights law, however,
she goes on to analyses how human right laws can sometimes include and exclude particular
people because of the way they choose to identity. A prime example of such
phenomena is the LGBT+ community, they are sometimes not given adequate rights
and are not recognised as a legitimate part of society in certain parts of the
world such as south Asia. This book starts off by tracing back the origins of
identity and demonstrates the change of “the right to personal identity” (pp.
8) within the human rights structure. Marshall. J (2016) then delves into
contemporary as well as historic attempts to illustrate what the essence of personal
identity is by drawing on concepts such as rationality to explain what it means
to be a human being. Further, this text analyses the possibility for universal
principles and culturally specific rights to contradict each other e.g.  Marshall argues that although we live in a post-modern
society where individuals “create their own identity” (pp. 143) people still
find themselves feeling restricted with how they choose to identity because there
is a general accord of what is considered to be acceptable in every society. With
the influence of feminist theory Marshall concludes by stating that “human rights
laws would be more potent if they were seen as a force to enable freedom and
respect amongst people” (pp. 468).

The prime difference between the two reading is that Jill’s text
takes a vast scope on the way society experiences human rights by drawing on
topics such as morality and autonomy, whereas Frezzo explores a more complex political framework
to explain how human rights derive from the combination of economic social and
political factors.


Categories: Traditions


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