Equality and Differentiated Citizenship

Rogers M. Smith

in Anxieties of Democracy

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780198077473
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081745 | DOI:
Equality and Differentiated Citizenship

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Every modern democracy faces a multi-faceted dilemma in constructing civic membership: how to formulate laws and policies that provide substantively equal rights, duties, and opportunities for all citizens, while appropriately addressing their different histories, circumstances, and aspirations. This dilemma of equality and differentiated citizenship is associated with issues of economic status, culture, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, identities, the status of corporations, and so on. This chapter examines this dilemma by focusing on race, gender, and citizenship in twentieth-century United States. It discusses equality and differentiated citizenship from the perspective of Alexis de Tocqueville, the basic pattern of civic development in twentieth-century America, and why racial and gender categories have persisted in modern American law.

Keywords: United States; democracy; differentiated citizenship; equality; civic development; race; gender; law; Alexis de Tocqueville

Chapter.  12919 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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