The blogs on this website are in correlation with the theme of active citizenship and political socialisation in reference to the subject I currently study, Sociology. I will use a collection of both my experiences of political issues in the UK, along with second hand data as a representation of multiple political issues within the UK and parts of the US.
WHAT IS CITIZENSHIP?
Before reading all the blogs on this website, it is important to understand what exactly active citizenship is. “Citizenship is a concept which speaks to the relationships between individuals and political communities. Yet, increasingly in Europe this remains subjective” (Lister and Pia, 2008:1). According to Delanty (2000:9) citizenship when simplified, refers to the membership of a political community/country, which involves a relationship between rights, duties, participation and identity; these are the core features of citizenship (Lister and Pia, 2008:9).
FROM CITIZENSHIP TO ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP
Based on the definition of citizenship written above, active citizenship in a political sense then, refers to simply knowing your rights as a citizen. However, as this is a sociological blog, the main focus here is the encouragement of the practicality in being an active citizen. Unfortunately the laws do not emphasise the practical side of being an active citizen, therefore as we have established what citizenship is, the “active” part is undoubtedly knowing your rights as a citizen and carrying duties as a citizen by being able to take part in national decisions that affect you and your community, this is usually done through things such as:
- Signing Petitions
- Advocating On Social Media
WHY IS ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP IMPORTANT?
The term may be complex but not yet as complex as the practice. Citizenship faces challenges associated with contemporary social and political developments. For example, European integration, mass migration, and changing patterns of political participation and welfare state provision and the precise shape and structure of citizenship in Europe; appears to be altering, thus making active citizenship only true in principle but not in practice (Lister and Pia, 2008:1). In our contemporary society, the degree of citizenship has been determined by boundaries between states, as a result, citizenship has been about exclusion from, as well as inclusion into the polity all in attempt to maintain material aspects of exclusion (Faulks, 2000:29). Therefore there is a social imbalance and a wide scale of inequalities in which call a need for active citizenship.
Feel free to have a look at the video below in order to know more about being an active citizen:
Lister, M. and Pia, E. (2008) Citizenship in Contemporary Europe, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, p1 – 9
Faulks, K. (2000) Citizenship, London and New York: Routledge, p29
Bcactivecitizens (2014) What Is Active Citizens? [Online] Available At: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiZNO_Lca8k Accessed: [17/02/19]