Civics Citizenship

Gender and Citizenship: Politics and Agency in France, by Birte Siim

By Birte Siim

This ebook compares the hyperlinks among women's social rights and democratic citizenship in 3 various citizenship versions: republican citizenship in France, liberal citizenship in Britain, and social citizenship in Denmark. Birte Siim argues that France nonetheless suffers from the contradictions of pro-natalist coverage, and that Britain is simply simply commencing to reconceptualize the male-breadwinner version that continues to be a dominant function. exam of the dual-breadwinner version in Denmark unearths new study approximately Scandinavian social coverage.

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O n th e mos t genera l theoretical level, the two central feminist criticism s are first the critiqu e of the belief in abstract universalism o f civic republicanism, an d secon d the liberal belief i n th e separatio n betwee n th e publi c an d th e privat e 30 GENDE R AND CITIZENSHIP sphere (Patema n 1988 ; Young 1989; Phillips 1992) . Both traditions have been th e basi s fo r th e exclusio n o f wome n fro m th e public , politica l sphere an d thei r inclusio n a s mothers . Th e critiqu e ha s opene d u p a fruitful dialogu e betwee n politica l theorie s and feminism abou t how to integrate principle s o f diversit y an d differenc e base d o n gender , race , ethnicity, and about the need to rethink the public/private divid e in ways that reintegrate the family within public life (Kymlick a 1990: Ch.

A related question i s ho w citizen s lear n civi c virtues. Th e answer s hav e varied , from civi c republicanism emphasisin g participatio n i n publi c life , an d communitarianism emphasisin g the value of social practices in the community, t o feminist communitarian s valuin g th e * ethics o f care ' i n th e family. All solutions raise the dilemma between th e autonomy/freedo m of individua l citizens , association s an d politica l communitie s an d th e need to promote 'responsible' citizenship in accordance with the 'general will'.

The Danis h politica l discours e expresse s a 'balance ' betwee n th e public an d privat e aren a an d betwee n citizen s an d th e stat e tha t ha s enabled socia l an d politica l force s t o influenc e socia l politic s 'fro m below' throug h th e cooperatio n betwee n socia l democracy , th e trad e union movement , an d voluntar y organisation s (Kolstru p 1996) . I t i s 22 GENDE R AND CITIZENSHIP hypothesised that this may also in some cases have given women's organisations a space to influence socia l policies (Sii m 1999b).

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