Sunday, October 21, 2012

Citizenship: the ties that bind

Citizenship are not abstract “civic ties” between people but rather, are intimate relationships between people such as friendship and romantic relationships. Therefore, these relationships socialise people into members of society. It is what ties the micro to the macro – and gives us the connection to other “strangers” in society. Indeed there are no real strangers in society, and we are either friends, or indifferent parties. Even as enemies we are able still find a connection. Hence, we are made citizens because of the ties we have here rather than over-arching political discourses. The implications is therefore twofold. One one hand we do not have to rely on passports and state policies to define who we are and the efforts are limited insofar as creating the enduring ties that a friendship has. Secondly, people may physically hold different passport and sworn different allegiances, however the interpersonal ties will hold them as part of this society.

Hence friendship cannot be ignored in terms of cultivating citizenship amongst individuals. It is the creation not of civic value, but rather the value of friendship and intimacy. So the reasons why youths are excluded from the civic society is owed to the claim that their allegiances are fluid because their life is "changing" and only become “full” members when their interpersonal networks are solidified – only and only then, can their stake in society be counted as legitimate. Although adults can face changes in their lives as well, but often the lifecourse perspective see that adults often achieve a stage of relative stability or maintenance where huge changes are unlikely to occur within their interpersonal networks. If anything, adults gain and expand networks, which further integrate them further into society - legitimating their status as committed members and hence garnering the rights to vote for the community.

No comments:

Post a Comment