Citizenly Identities and Translocal Belonging
Under conditions of globalization, citizenship has become an increasingly contested concept, which has expanded beyond a rights based approach to include an affective dimension (Lister, 2003; Ho, 2009; Werbner & Yuval-Davis, 1999; Kymlicka, 1995). This chapter will analyse how participants negotiated multiple and often competing identities in relation to previous and current homes and nations. These negotiations are influenced by participants’ social locations (gender, ethnicity, age) and migration experiences, which lead them to hold different dispositions towards the attainment or renouncement of ‘citizenship’ and national belonging in both a formal and emotional sense. The grammatical nominalisation that results in the term ‘citizenship’ works to distance and abstract us from what it is to be ‘citizenly’. I use the phrase ‘citizenly identities’ to acknowledge the agency of people in shaping their translocal and transantional memberships and identifications and to argue that citizenship represents a process of becoming where official designations do not always align with subjective affiliations. Focusing on people’s emotionally oriented citizenly identities embraces the way being a citizen is also a personal and emotional process. Though they may be officially constructed as outsiders to a nation, they are often experientially and affectively, insiders, continually strengthening their connections to place through their everyday practices and social relations.
KeywordsCitizenship Citizenly identities Belonging Transnational migration
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