Global, national, local – conceptions of citizenship among young people

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Wednesday, 18 April 2018, 12-1 pm (Conference Room 2.15, Chrystal Macmillan Building)

Christine Huebner, PhD researcher in social policy, University of Edinburgh


Global, national, local – conceptions of citizenship among young people

In light of an ongoing debate about an allegedly politically apathetic youth, ‘citizenship’ has become a catchphrase that scholars and practitioners employ to avoid a looming crisis of political legitimacy and educate a new generation of ‘responsible citizens’. It remains unclear, however, what it means to be a ‘good citizen’.

Having listened to young people in Scotland and the Netherlands talk about their understanding of citizenship, Christine learnt that the locus of citizenship is key for an understanding of what it entails. Given an increasingly globalized political and media landscape local, national, and global citizenship are meaningful concepts for young people, albeit very different ones. For some young people these understandings of citizenship are not sufficiently distinguishable, causing citizenship-as-legal-status and rights claiming to be conflated with a moralized version of citizenship (‘citizenship-as-desirable-activity’). In this presentation, Christine will share some very early analysis from her conversations with 46 young people aged 15 to 18 years, looking for feedback and suggestions for further analyses.

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