Active citizenship through mobility? Students' perceptions of identity, rights and participation in the EU

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Abstract

Globalisation has begun to transform the processes through which citizens are differentiated and non-citizens are excluded. This article provides an in-depth qualitative interrogation of these processes of differentiation and exclusion, and argues that the transformation in these processes compels us to reconsider the conceptual dichotomy of passive/active citizens along the stayers/mobiles distinction. This transformation is most apparent in Europe, with the introduction of European Union (EU) citizenship. The article builds on Bourdieu's cultural capital in the cosmopolitan context, existing qualitative studies on citizens' sense of EU identity and citizenship, and illustrative focus group evidence of visiting EU and home students' perceptions of EU citizenship across three dimensions – identity, rights and participation. The evidence indicates that we can distinguish between four categories of citizens in the EU: passive EU citizens, including two groups of stayers; the potential EU (i) and member state-oriented (ii) citizens, and active EU citizens, including EU-15 (iii) and Central and Eastern European (iv) mobile citizens. These categories reveal that important distinctions are emerging between the perceptions and behaviour of stayers and mobiles as passive/active citizens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-835
Number of pages16
JournalCitizenship Studies
Volume19
Issue number6-7
Early online date20 Aug 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015

Keywords

  • passive/active citizens
  • EU citizenship
  • mobility
  • cultural capital
  • identity
  • differentiation/exclusion

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