Theorizing Children’s Social Citizenship: New Welfare States and Inter-generational Justice?

Dympna Devine, Tom Cockburn

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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The concept of citizenship, and social citizenship in particular, has been the subject of considerable research and debate. Since Marshall’s seminal lecture in 1949, the idea of citizenship as social, interactive and embedded in dynamics of identity shaping and positioning, has taken hold (see Lister, 2007). While Marshall defined social citizenship in terms of equality of status predicated on the universal provision of services in health, education, housing etc., this was firmly embedded in the idea of a uniform Western citizen who behaved and acted in normative ways. In so doing, Roche (1987:371) suggests that Marshall proposed ‘an ontology of the citizen’ that has itself been subject to considerable criticism in light of its narrow and restrictive categorizations. Roche’s comment is telling, in so far as it highlights how constructions of citizenship and social citizenship especially, are deeply inter-twined with notions of self and identity in social context. In this paper the subject of children’s citizenship is considered in the context of new welfare states and reciprocal dynamics of power, equality and social justice between adults and children. The role of education, taking the exemplar of Ireland, is especially foregrounded.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-157
Issue number2
Early online date4 Mar 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Mar 2018


  • Children’s citizenship
  • education
  • inter-generational
  • migrant children
  • welfare

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