Informations and abstract
Keywords: multiculturalism, citizenship, belonging, youth, cosmopolitism
This paper explores how, if at all, multiculturalism and migration processes are changing contemporary representations on citizenship. The first part of the article critically reviews some of the most influential sociological and philosophical analysis on citizenship, both stressing continuities and changes with the classical modern idea presented by Marshall. Five main theoretical approaches are discussed: multicultural, neo-classic, flexible, cosmopolitan and post-national citizenship. The second part aims to test these approaches using empirical qualitative data gathered among 118 youngsters attending Italian higher secondary school in Milan. While 74 of them are of Italian origin, the others 44 are children of immigrants. All of them are boys. The data show that young people tend to understand citizenship as more based on duty than on rights. Citizenship has to be deserved, showing ourselves as respectable, economically-independent, observant of the low citizens. Moreover, these youngsters point out a clear distinction between citizenship and belonging. While the former is a formal and institutional recognition, the latter refers to a "natural", "essential", identity.