Citizenship and Identity Politics essay sample



When asked about their identity, people will give different answers to the same question. Some individuals associate their identity with the country where they were born. The others first think about the racial or ethnic group to which all of their ancestors belonged. Yet others will put stress upon a social community which differentiates people according to their gender. Differences in self-perception show that there is no single factor which can describe the identity of every human.

Citizenship is the prior factor which serves to clarify the identity of individuals. In this case, identity  is linked not to a social but to a national community. Usually citizenship is applied by birth, however, over the life, individual can acquire multiple citizenships or lose the existing one and be referred to as stateless. The notion of citizenship shall not be confused with that of nationality, especially in multicultural countries as the US or the UK.

Earlier the term identity politics was used to denote the activity of marginalized social groups such as minorities aimed at improving their current position in the society. It emerged as a response to the social norms oriented at the heterosexual majority of people, predominantly male individuals. Within the framework of the social science, identity politics is related to the existing social movements which struggle to reveal new identities.

Identity politics always provide a further division to individuals of the same citizenship. They are frequently criticized for stratification of society as LGBT Americans are inevitably opposed to heterosexual Americans, for instance. The impact of identity politics is especially visible when any social group provides massive support for their candidate in the elections not because of their policy but because of the link to the same social group.

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