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Communicating citizenship - social positioning in participatory decision making

Die Kommunikation von Staatsbürgerschaft - soziale Positionierung in partizipatorischen Entscheidungsprozessen
[conference paper]

Bora, Alfons; Hausendorf, Heiko

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Corporate Editor Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS)
Abstract "The proposed presentation has two aims: (a) It will outline a theoretical understanding of 'citizenship' that is rooted in sociological systems theory and in sociolinguistic approaches. With this approach it tries to develop a sociological supplement to the more normative notions of governance and citizenship in the legal and political sciences. (b) It will apply these theoretical considerations to a comparative view on forms of citizenship, which can be observed in participatory procedures in different European countries. The rationale of such a perspective is, at the end, to aim at a sociologically grounded evaluation of normative expectations about 'adequate' and 'legitimate' forms of participatory governance. The task or the problem that is being solved by the idea of citizenship has been remaining identical from the beginning of political reflection in the Greek polis to the modern concepts, such as Marshall's 'Citizenship and Social Class', Barber's notion of 'Strong Democracy', Philip Frankenfeld's concept of 'technological citizenship', or more recently, Phillippe Schmitter's concept of different positions of 'holders'. All these concepts deal with a certain aspect of the relationship between persons and society. Citizenship describes the coupling between the political system and individuals or groups, often using terms of justice and community membership. In modern society, citizenship mainly has two aspects: (1) membership in a wider, largely national, context; (2) and a certain kind of social position. To be a citizen means more than being a member of a nation; it means having rights and duties, especially rights of information, rights to participation, voice, and standing for example, that is rights to being treated in a certain way. These rights and duties constitute social positions, a term by which we mean differentiated sets of social expectations. On this basis, citizenship can theoretically be understood as an aspect of social inclusion. It is then be defined as a special mode of inclusion into the political system. When inclusion is the function of citizenship, a number of different (but functionally equivalent) forms could fulfil this function. Nationality is prominent mode of inclusion into the political system, as well as electorate, for example. Participatory forms of inclusion play a respective role in public procedures. We may on the basis of functions and forms then try to identify effects of different forms. One consequence of this approach is its conceptual openness to different semantic concepts of citizenship, which can be observed in their empirical occurrence (...)." (author's abstract)
Keywords citizenship; civil rights; citizens' participation; decision making process; inclusion; EU member state; political participation; social participation
Classification Criminal Sociology, Sociology of Law; Sociology of Science, Sociology of Technology, Research on Science and Technology; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Method descriptive study; theory application
Collection Title Soziale Ungleichheit, kulturelle Unterschiede: Verhandlungen des 32. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in München. Teilbd. 1 und 2
Editor Rehberg, Karl-Siegbert
Conference 32. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie "Soziale Ungleichheit - kulturelle Unterschiede". München, 2004
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Publisher Campus Verl.
City Frankfurt am Main
Page/Pages p. 813-821
ISBN 3-593-37887-6
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications