Citizenship : The Identity Of The United States

1454 WordsFeb 21, 20176 Pages
A dictionary definition of citizenship states it as a position of being a citizen in a particular country/ region. Nakano Glenns definition is much more concentrated, focused on the details, and combines this status of citizenship along with gender and race. Glenn shows how the definition of citizenship changes when including race as well as gender and how this meant that white men were mainly seen as rightful citizens while minorities were effectively left out of this definition. Glenn writes in chapter two titled, Citizenship: Universalism and Exclusion, about integrating the definitions of race as well as gender into the meaning of citizenship. Glenn makes an effort to assert the historical authenticity of the meaning of citizenship,…show more content…
This idea of citizenship would exclude out minorities (the poor, women,slaves, and Native Americans. This exclusion of minorities helped secure the European perspective of superiority and entitlement and it is also what lead them to believe justified in their “takeover of lands, resources and labor” from so called foreigners. The Naturalization Act of 1790 restricted citizenship to free white people which effectively left out the minorities listed above (it also excluded indentured servants). This act proved that this idea that citizenship belonged exclusively to white males was completely legitimate, that there was a legal document stating the rights of white males, while leaving out the rest. To include non property owning white males in this rhetoric, the idea of wage work became honorable and seen as hard working. This implemented their status as superior and proved that the idea of citizenship governed around them. It further supports the idea that race is included in the definition of citizenship. “This transmutation ultimately aided capitalists by redirecting the hostility of white workers toward blacks and other people of color, by masking the subordination of wage work with an illusion of freedom, and more broadly by legitimating the wage labor system and the wage contract. Yet wage-earning men were not simply passive recipients of capitalist ideology. White working-class men, through
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