Eclectic Grounds

conflicts and conversation

Posts Tagged ‘exclusion

The rise of dual citizenship

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According to a recent article by Tanja Brøndsted Sejersen in the International Migration Review, dual citizenship has been on the rise over the last 20 years. While in 1990, only 20% of states had legislation providing for dual citizenship, today it is more than 50% of the world’s countries.

This is for two reasons: an increasing focus on individual rights in state legislation, and the social challenge of inclusion and exclusion that many countries experience. While many countries have been opposed to the concept of dual citizenship for a long time as they feared for loss of national cohesion, Sejersen argues the world is seeing a change in attitude:

Dual citizenship highlights specific problems with the citizenship concept, especially the foreigner–citizen dichotomy and the assumed congruence between the demos, the nation, and the state. Many states exist with a multitude of nations living within them, but the democratic incorporation of citizens, denizens, foreign residents, and citizens abroad poses new questions when faced with the reality of dual citizenship. The move toward acceptance of dual citizenship highlights the blurred foundation for national identity as a tool of exclusion. […] A more relative understanding of the state and the citizenry may be necessary for allowing dual citizenship.

Via Contexts Discoveries


The social psychology of discrimination

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Several experiments in social psychology have tried to find out about the effects that arbitrary stereotyping and discrimination or privilege and power has on individuals. The most famous of these were the Zimbardo experiments.

Another one of those experience was conducted in a primary school by teacher with herclass of third-graders. To make the kids understand racial discrimination, the teacher split them up according to blue and brown eye colour. One group was defined as superior, the other as inferior.

I recently saw a Frontline documentary about the case filmed 14 years later, in which the former pupils describe the profound effects that the experience had on them. Quite ordinary, white people from a provincial town in the US state Iowa describe the humiliation, anger, demoralisation and hatred they felt at their own personal discrimination – and the feeling of (unfounded) power they got when they were in the dominant group.. 

"A Class Divided"
“A Class Divided” – find the documentary here.

It’s quite intense to see the distress and violence that the participants describe, which resulted from entirely arbitrary faultlines. Experiments like those certainly help us understand the impact of ethnic, religious or any other out-group stereotyping. When talking about “blacks”, “Turks”, “Muslim” or “women” in a discrimatory manner, we usually internalise our role – discimated and disciminators alike. Documenations like the one here can shake us up a little about our everyday behaviour.

Thanks Nayano for digging it up!

Written by henrik

February 4, 2009 at 4:43 pm