Meaning of Citizenship

Only available on StudyMode
Read full document
Text Preview
Essay: Journal Article, The Meanings of Citizenship

Kerber is discussing the constant evolution of citizenship. During the article she highlights four main points. She discusses Attentive & Multinational Citizenship, Braided Citizenship, Borders & Immigrants and Postnational Citizenship. My goal is to provide an inept assessment and my thoughts and understanding in regards to Kerber’s article.

Kerber begins her first point by discussing the attentiveness meaning of citizenship. She briefly describes the last great period of attentiveness during the 1930’s & the Post Cold War. In stable times citizenship is thought to be a permanent thing, and now has become fluid, unsteady and loose. National citizenship is slowly fading as multinational citizenship is becoming more common. But there are remaining problems with this destabilized citizenship. After numerous law changes, many found that citizenship has become more and more segregated at times. After the American Revolution, modern citizenship had been created for a new political order. There were three different ways to be given citizenship. The first common-law of the land: If birth was on U.S. soil, you were a rightful citizen. Second was right of blood. If a father & mother were legal Head 2

citizens of the U.S., and had a child that was born on foreign soil, the child would inherit the right of U.S. citizenship due to blood association. Last, was Naturalization; it was a legal process that grants an immigrant’s citizenship to the U.S. In other countries around the world the ideas of citizenship have similar meanings, but are earned and given in different ways. It’s unique the United States still honors jus soli, whereas in other countries citizenship is not given, I am shocked to find it’s earned. Our forefathers left few hints to what they meant by citizenship. The Constitution says each citizen will be entitled to all privileges and immunities, but it’s not spelled out what they are. The 14th Amendment defined national citizenship and expanded, it guaranteed protection of the laws & entitlements. The 10th Amendment guaranteed appointed rights not reserved to the U.S. Government or the states, it was reserved for the people. She discusses different obligations everyone in U.S. territory would have experienced. The five specific obligations included: Criminal & civil laws, Taxes, Respect, Refrain from treason and the Obligation to risk one’s life in military service. After serving eight years in the Corps I think that the majority of the U.S. populace has undoubtedly forgotten the meaning of citizenship. It seems like we Americans are always worried about what rights we have, but in turn forget the obligations that we have to our country. The complexity of citizenship is very unique and loose.

Throughout America’s history, the meaning of citizenship varied according to your gender, race or class. There are so many similar experiences in different classes around the world. Kerber gave an example of what some of the experiences were like by coming up with a simple analogy. She incorporated the 9 classifications and 3 categories of race, class and gender into the hair to show what the model should be like. Over the years, the U.S has absorbed the English system of laws governing marriages. This was my mother’s day and age where the husband had the career and she was a homemaker. Later generations would make an attempt to improve and understand citizenship regardless of race, class or gender. Clarifying attempts were made with the Naturalization Act, Domestic Relations, 4th and 19th amendment, but men had and still do have the loyalty to the state. Even to this day, we are still dealing with the race, class & gender problems of the past. The Naturalization Act of 1790...
tracking img