Affective Citizenship and Education in Multicultural Societies: Tensions, Ambivalences, and Possibilities

  • Michalinos Zembylas
Living reference work entry


This chapter focuses on discussing the concept of affective citizenship and its potential contribution to citizenship education discourses, especially in the context of multicultural societies. The chapter synthesizes the literature on affective citizenship and identifies examples that show how the ideal of the “affective citizen” is promoted in schools internationally. The discussion focuses in particular on two widespread emotional injunctions in multicultural societies: the calls for “embracing the other” and “coping with difference.” The analysis examines the underlying assumptions invoked by these emotional injunctions in relation to discourses of citizenship education. Possible tensions and ambivalent obligations are identified and discussed. The chapter concludes that more attention to the implications of the notion of affective citizenship is needed in citizenship education particularly in relation to goals aiming at instilling more criticality in students’ understandings of and feelings about citizenship.


Affective citizenship Multiculturalism Emotion Critical citizenship education Education 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program of Educational StudiesOpen University of CyprusLatsiaCyprus

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