The “good citizen”: asserting and contesting norms of participation and belonging in Oslo

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Horst, Cindy; Marta Bivand Erdal & Noor Jdid (2019) The “good citizen”: asserting and contesting norms of participation and belonging in Oslo, Ethnic and Racial Studies. DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2019.1671599.

​The question of what constitutes the “good citizen” has received renewed interest in Western Europe in connection with increasing pressure on the welfare state, concerns over migration-related diversity, and growing anxiety about a crisis of democracy. We draw on data from fifty in-depth interviews and six focus group discussions with residents of Oslo to study the impact of this discursive landscape of citizenship policy on everyday perceptions of good citizenship. In our study, an ideal-type “good citizen” emerges, against which research participants judge their own and others’ contributions. Based on our empirical data, we argue for a reconceptualization of good citizenship that acknowledges present-day spaces of participation as both public and private, and which acknowledges scales of belonging that go beyond and below a narrowly defined national community. Such reconceptualization is necessary to include and recognize the diversity of participation and belonging unfolding in Europe today.

Read the article here (Open Access)