Citizenship

Citizenship is the connection between a person and a state; the individual owes loyalty to the state, and in return, the individual is entitled to the protection of the state.
Citizenship Sociology Definition

Definition

Citizenship is the connection between a person and a state; the individual owes loyalty to the state, and in return, the individual is entitled to the protection of the state.

Explanation

Citizenship is the status of being a member of a political community structured as either a territorial state or a national state. Depending on the kind of state, citizenship has different characteristics. For instance, participation in the political elite was a requirement for citizenship in the ancient Greek polis, but contemporary liberal democracy gives people the right to vote once every three to four years during an election cycle. However, sociological theories acknowledge that citizenship has more to it than only politics.

Two independent axes or dimensions are used to categorize different citizenship types: the quality of the rights and obligations that come with citizenship and the availability of citizenship status. The criteria for citizenship distinguish citizens and non-citizens. Jus sanguinis, citizenship by descent, and jus soli, citizenship by birthplace, are two other legal options. Depending on which of these takes place, it could have a significant impact on people who have moved across borders due to the internationalization of economic activity and labor markets or the transformation of political systems, both of which have resulted in a sizable influx of people across borders over the past century.

Three Components of Citizenship by T.H. Marshall

By defining citizenship as the position of a person who is a complete community member and contending that it has three components, T.H. Marshall enlarged the concept of citizenship.

Citizenship provides civil rights, such as freedom of speech, access to information, associational freedom, and equality before the law. 

Becoming a citizen entitles a person to have political rights, which include the right to select the government.

The third category of rights is social and economic rights. In Marshall’s opinion, the right to social welfare is crucial protection against populations being theoretically enfranchised but shut out of society due to poverty. 

Marshall had a propensity to believe that the three elements are gained in the manner described above. However, feminist writers have emphasized that women have not always acquired citizenship rights in the same order as males, with voting rights, for instance, often coming before complete equality before the law.

The idea of citizenship has attracted increasing attention since communism fell apart in the late 1980s. Critics of capitalism have resorted to civic society and citizenship concepts since socialism does not seem to be a realistic alternative to capitalism, and the old rhetoric of state involvement is unpopular.

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