The Social Psychology of Citizenship, Participation and Social Exclusion: Introduction to the Special Thematic Section

Article English OPEN
Stevenson, Clifford ; Dixon, John ; Hopkins, Nick ; Luyt, Russell (2015)
  • Publisher: PsychOpen
  • Journal: Journal of Social and Political Psychology (issn: 2195-3325)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.5964/jspp.v3i2.579
  • Subject: BF | social psychology; citizenship; social identity; social representations; discursive psychology; citizenship studies

The aim of this special thematic section is to bring together recent social psychological research on the topic of citizenship with a view to discerning the emerging trends within the field and its potential contributions to the broader interdisciplinary area of citizenship studies. Eight papers spanning diverse theoretical traditions (including social identity, social representations and\ud discursive approaches) apply an array of methods to consider different aspects of citizenship across a variety of cultural and national contexts. Some focus on individuals’ perceptions and discussions of citizenship, others examine the group dynamics which flow from these understandings, and the rest examine the potential for citizenship to exclude as well as include marginalised communities. While diverse, the contributions share some core commonalities: all share a concern in trying to\ud understand citizenship from the perspective of the citizen; all conceptualise citizenship as an active and reflective process occurring between members of a community; and all highlight the irreducibly social and collective nature of the experience and practice of citizenship in everyday life. We propose that these elements of convergence have the potential to give the social psychology of citizenship a solid basis and recognisable profile in order to contribute to the broader arena of citizenship studies.
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