A Discourse Theory of Citizenship

1187 WordsNov 26, 20115 Pages
A Discourse Theory of Citizenship This article discusses the concept of citizenship and how citizenship as a form of public engagement is crucial to democracy as a whole. The author, Robert Asen, presents a new view that citizenship is a dynamic mode of public engagement. The first section of the article discusses questions about public beliefs and perspectives. The second section of the article discusses how citizenship is a mode of public engagement. The third section discusses how public engagement must be examined and what can be learned from that analysis. The final section discusses how the concept of citizenship can be extended through the author’s Discourse Theory. The first part of the article begins by explaining how…show more content…
The next section discusses how public engagement in the form of citizenship must be examined. Public engagement is not a static set of concepts, but instead a fluid, dynamic process of interaction that occurs at a personal level. Consequently, it is different from person to person and must be treated specially. The dynamic nature of citizenship makes it impossible to make specific theories of how the public engages in citizenship. This means that there cannot be true experts in the analysis of human-to-human interaction. It does not, however, prevent qualitative analysis of public engagement in citizenship. This section also discussed how it is inherently risky to engage in citizenship. The risk occurs when an individual’s views are known and the public becomes aware of one’s beliefs. For example, participating in a Pro-Choice organization could lead some of your Pro-Life neighbors to dislike you for your views. On the other hand, there is a social benefit to this risk because it can expose you to people who share similar views to you. This common bond of risk unites organizations and makes them stronger over time. The important communication topic in this section is that communicating your views involves risk, but that risk is worthwhile because it can lead to stronger social ties. The last section focused on how the definition of citizenship is expanded when the author’s Discourse Theory of Citizenship
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