Silvio Scanagatta
Barbara Segatto

Executive Committee
Ursula Apitzsch, Jean-Louis Derouet, Luisa Ribolzi, Alison Taysum, Carlos Alberto Torres, Catherine Yan Wang

International Scientific Board

Management Staff
Managing editor
Anna Dal Ben

Book review editor
Maddalena Colombo



For Italian Law
Iscrizione n.2165 - 13.02.2009 - Registro Stampa Tribunale di Padova

Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

Changing citizenship: everyday representations of membership, belonging and identification among Italian senior secondary school students

TitleChanging citizenship: everyday representations of membership, belonging and identification among Italian senior secondary school students
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsColombo E
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date PublishedFebruary 2010
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
KeywordsBelonging, Children of immigrants, citizenship, Identification, Youth

The paper aims to explore the mapping of belonging and identification representations among both autochthonous children and those of immigrants in their later years of secondary education in Italy. It aims to contribute to developing the implication of an analysis ‘from below’ of citizenship, stressing its active, contested, adjusted contents and showing how the meaning youngsters attach to it may vary according to the discourse and the context. A series of narrative interviews highlights the multivalent and mobile meaning attributed to citizenship and its complex relation with membership and identification. Discussing the criteria for obtaining citizenship, emphasis is placed on theparticipative dimension rather than on the dimension of attributed belonging (determined by fate or blood). Citizenship remains an important formal question but requires an active attitude in order to be deserved. The ‘honest life’ then becomes the main criterion for granting citizenship. Differently from Marshall and his classical analysis, it is possible to note a marked shift of emphasis from rights to duties, undermining the inclusive and universal meaning attributed to citizenship. Narrations become more complex when identification is the main contend. In this case, an essentialist reified idea of belonging reduces citizenship to a specific but not exhaustive part of personal identification. Citizenship then may evolve from being a tool for inclusion to being a tool for differentiation and division between ‘us and them’.