Previous Chapter Chapter 33: Citizenship, Ethnicity and Nation-States

Sinišay Malešević & John A. Hall

In: The SAGE Handbook of Sociology

Chapter 33: Citizenship, Ethnicity and Nation-States

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Citizenship, Ethnicity and Nation-States
Citizenship, ethnicity and nation-states

For most of human history, class, gender and social status were the central pillars of exclusion, polarization and conflict. Today, however, it is the question of legitimate membership in a particular state that determines an individual's social standing. As every African or East European knows very well when approaching the European Union, passports determine social position. The speedy, control-free, blue line for European citizens (and unofficially for Americans, Canadians, Australians and members of other stable and ‘respectable’ polities) stands in stark contrast to the slow green line facing those who arrive from the rest of the world. At such moments a wealthy businessman from Morocco or Ukraine realizes how much worse is his social standing compared to that ...

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