This innovative volume explores ways in which the idea of citizenship can be seen as a unifying concept in understanding contemporary social change and social problems. The book outlines traditional linkages between citizenship and public participation, national identity and social welfare, and shows the relevance of citizenship for a range of rising issues extending from global change through gender to the environment. The areas investigated include: the challenge of internationalization to the nation state and to national identities; the contested nature of citizenship in relation to poverty, work and welfare; the implications of gender inequality; and the potential for new conceptions of citizenship in response to cultur
Chapter 7: Marriage and the Boundaries of Citizenship
Marriage and the Boundaries of Citizenship
Marriage has a long history, and we live in its shadow.
In reflecting on the nature of citizenship in contemporary liberal democracies we frequently make use of the phrase ‘second-class citizens’. This is a curious term. It suggests that membership of a political community is both universal and hierarchically ordered. The lower ranks in this order will typically include ethnic minorities, immigrants, poor and disabled people — and women. As far as the law is concerned, the individuals belonging to such groups are recognized as full members of the community. Yet they are, in many important respects, treated as if they were not.
What is the nature of those class ...