Abstract/Details

‘The green and pleasant land’. Cultural citizenship: Social welfare, law, and identity in contemporary England


2002 2002

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Citizenship is an important social status that indicates a person is a legitimate member of a nation. Citizenship thus exists in a very specific relation to State power; ideally, citizenship protects the rights of an individual. T. H. Marshall's influential 1949 essay “Citizenship and Social Class” proposed a linear, historical model of citizenship: an expansion of rights paralleling the growth of the Welfare State in England. To be a citizen was synonymous with the ability to make claims (i.e., regarding health or education) upon the State. As Marshall describes this complex dynamic, citizenship appears inevitable and unproblematic.

My analysis of citizenship both builds on and departs significantly from Marshall's classic formulation. I argue that many individuals and groups in contemporary England are not treated as full citizens. Increasingly, exclusion or inclusion in the life of the nation is determined by cultural practices. Citizenship serves as a boundary delineating acceptable behaviors from unacceptable ones in English society; it draws a line between moral and immoral activities, as if an essential ‘British-ness’ is being attacked. Once individuals and groups living alternative lifestyles are marginalized and declared deviant in this fashion, they may find their rights encroached upon and welfare services difficult to access.

This book explores three English alternative lifestyle and political groups in depth: New Age Travellers, hunt saboteurs, and the Exodus Collective of Luton. All resolutely practice their own versions of what it means to be English, and all have been subject to police harassment and legislative control. Subcultural members express themselves by adopting unconventional manners of living, or otherwise creatively voicing their dissent. When the State provision of welfare services fails them, people may devise their own survival solutions rather than conform.

Constructing citizenship also constructs criminality, and so citizenship serves as a hegemonic device that promotes a singular definition of peace and order within civil society. My exhaustive examination of the social processes that laud or assail pluralism in English society brings together cultural studies and criminological analysis to make a major contribution to the sociological literature in both fields.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Criminology;
Welfare;
European history;
Law;
Society
Classification
0627: Criminology
0630: Welfare
0335: European history
0398: Law
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences, Cultural citizenship, England, Identity, Law, Social welfare
Title
‘The green and pleasant land’. Cultural citizenship: Social welfare, law, and identity in contemporary England
Author
Blackstone, Lee Robert
Number of pages
611
Publication year
2002
Degree date
2002
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 63/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780493525587, 0493525580
Advisor
Chilton, Roland; Platt, Gerald; Wilkie, Richard
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3039338
ProQuest document ID
251648642
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/251648642
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.