Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Marc JW de Jong
Citizenship is both a legal status and a social identity. Legally, citizenship refers to an individual's political status, rights, and obligations in a nation, for example, the right to political representation or participation in the judicial process in that nation. Socially, citizenship refers to an individual's membership in a political organization or community. Whereas legal citizenship is closely linked to nationalism, the social conception of citizenship focuses on individual or group political ideology. In both, however, notions of morals, good standing, and social responsibility elements of so-called active citizenship are central to what it means to be a citizen. Legal citizenship comprises several types. For example, in the United States, citizenship occurs through birth, naturalization, or, rarely, through an act of Congress and presidential assent. Any person born in a U.S. territory or from U.S. citizen parent(s) automatically becomes an U.S. citizen. In other countries, such as Japan, citizenship jus ...