Citizenship

Jesus Apodaca has had a terrible life. He worked so hard, got to be valedictorian of his class, got a diploma with honors, got a scholarship to a highly respected school, and then he lost it, all because he was an illegal immigrant. I’d like to be on his side, but I can’t. He broke the rules, and that’s that, so he should’ve been deported. The Staeheli article uses Apodaca as an example of citizenship, and divides it, as an ideal, into two foundations, Justice and Care, and two domains,  Boundaries and Rights and Responsibilities. Justice deals with the legal framing of citizenship, while Care deals with the fact that his family had been good, active citizens of the community up until that point. The two domains deal with different aspects of citizenship, though, such as Boundaries dealing with whether they should get to stay, while Rights and Responsibilities deals with his getting the scholarship or not. Citizenship as a whole is framed as being ordinary, too, giving us the term ordinariness, meaning a fusion of rules and norms and the experiences of groups or individuals, which is used to describe the many dimensions of citizenship as a term.

In chapter 4, Democracy, Citizenship, and Elections, Painter and Jeffrey begin by following the origin of democracy, going through its beginnings, as individualism, describing individual freedom, followed by its turning into liberalism, where everyone must have this freedom, and then onward into democracy, where this liberalism was practiced as a type of government, and how it continues to diffuse to the rest of the world today. Following this is a section on citizenship, where it is broken down into three aspects, each involving a different form of rights: civil, political, and social. Civil involves individual freedoms, such as the right to free speech, the right to bare arms, etc., political involves the right to vote and influence politics, and social involves the idea that citizens should have a minimum set standard of living. Following this is citizenship in spaces, where it can be de jure, in law, or de facto, in practice. It is important to note that while both are important, one can be possessed without the other, such is the case of de jure without de facto, such as a citizen with restricted rights, or de facto without de jure, as was the case of Jesus Apodaca, being treated as a citizen, but not having any rights. Also mentioned are insurgent citizenship, where rights are gained through action, often violence, and cosmopolitan citizenship, the idea that, vaguely stated, everyone in the world should vote, and almost everything should be voted on. Lastly is elections and electoral geographies, which are described as focusing on two things, voter behavior and and geographies of representation. Voter behavior is described as the individual voting tendencies of each individual citizen and on a slightly larger scale, each division counted for votes. Geographies of representation, however, focuses less on the voters and more on the election itself, talking about how the location of elections and how they are divided, such as splitting a place so that more bias is towards one party, rather than another.

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