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Political Science Commons

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Political Science

2007

Series

Berkeley Law

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Political Science

The Culture Of Citizenship, Leti Volpp Jan 2007

The Culture Of Citizenship, Leti Volpp

Faculty Scholarship

The headscarf debate in France exemplifies what is widely perceived as the battle between a culture-free citizenship and a culturally-laden other. This battle, however, presumes the existence of a neutral state that must either tolerate or ban particular cultural differences. In this Article, I challenge that presumption by demonstrating how both cultural difference and citizenship are imagined and produced. The citizen is assumed to be modern and motivated by reason; the cultural other is assumed to be traditional and motivated by culture. Yet citizenship is both a cultural and anti-cultural institution: citizenship positions itself as oppositional to culture, even as ...