Skip to content

‘Some animals are more equal than others’: the hierarchy of citizenship in Austria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

While this article aims to explore the connections between citizenship and ‘race’, it is the first study to use fictional tools as a sociological resource in exemplifying the deviation between citizenship in principle and practice in an Austrian context. The study involves interviews with 73 Austrians from three ethnic/racial groups, which were subjected to a directed approach to qualitative content analysis and coded based on sentences from George Orwell’s fictional book, ‘Animal Farm’. By using fiction as a conceptual and analytical device, this article goes beyond the orthodox particulars of citizenship to expose the compressed entitlements of some racial/ethnic minorities. In particular, data analysis revealed two related and intertwined central themes: (a) “all animals are not equal or comrades”; and (b) “some animals are more equal than others”. All ‘animals’ may be equal in principle, whereas, in practice, their ‘race’ serves as a critical source of social (dis)advantage in the ‘animal kingdom’. Thus, since citizenship is a precondition for possessing certain rights that non-citizens are not granted, I argue that citizenship cannot only be judged by whom it, in theory, excludes (i.e., non-citizens), but also by how it treats the included (i.e., citizens) on the basis of their ‘race’. I conclude that skin colour is a specific aspect of the hierarchy of citizenship in Austria, which reinforces that ‘some animals are more equal than others’.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Number of pages20
JournalLaws
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2019

Documents

Related information

Relations Get citation (various referencing formats)

ID: 22604649