'The contributions of Woodiwiss, Lister and Sassen are outstanding but not unrepresentative of the many merits of this excellent collection'- The British Journal of Sociology From women's rights, civil rights, and sexual rights for gays and lesbians to disability rights and language rights, we have experienced in the past few decades a major trend in Western nation-states towards new claims for inclusion. This trend has echoed around the world: from the Zapatistas to Chechen and Kurdish nationalists, social and political movements are framing their struggles in the languages of rights and recognition, and hence, of citizenship. Citizenship has thus become an increasingly important axis in the social sciences. Social scientists have been rethinking the role of political agent or subject. Not only are the rights and obligations of citizens being redefined, but also what it means to be a citizen has become an issue of central concern. As the process of globalization produces multiple diasporas, we can expect increasingly complex relationships between homeland and host societies that will make the traditional idea of national citizenship problematic. As societies are forced to manage cultural difference and associated tensions and conflict, there will be changes in the processes by which states allocate citizenship and a differentiation of the category of citizen. This book constitutes the most authoritative and comprehensive guide to the terrain. Drawing on a wealth of interdisciplinary knowledge, and including some of the leading commentators of the day, it is an essential guide to understanding modern citizenship. About the editors: Engin F Isin is Associate Professor of Social Science at York University. His recent works include Being Political: Genealogies of Citizenship (Minnesota, 2002) and, with P K Wood, Citizenship and Identity (Sage, 1999). He is the Managing Editor of Citizenship Studies. Bryan S Turner is Professor of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. He has written widely on the sociology of citizenship in Citizenship and Capitalism (Unwin Hyman, 1986) and Citizenship and Social Theory (Sage, 1993). He is also the author of The Body and Society (Sage, 1996) and Classical Sociology (Sage, 1999), and has been editor of Citizenship Studies since 1997.
Chapter 15: Multicultural Citizenship
On the list of hyphenated citizenships the ‘multicultural’ one certainly takes a prominent place. It signals a general concern for reconciling the universalism of rights and membership in liberal nation-states with the challenge of ethnic diversity and other ascriptive ‘identity’ claims. In this chapter, I first discuss multicultural citizenship in theory, pointing to the shortcomings of both ‘radical’ and ‘liberal’ approaches to justifying minority rights under the generic, and paradoxical, notion of multicultural citizenship. Secondly, I look at the ways in which multicultural citizenship has been practiced in liberal nation-states. This investigation reveals a gap between the theory and the practice of multicultural citizenship: a mechanism to accommodate ethnic, national, and other minorities in theory, multicultural citizenship in practice has been a ...