A local welcome? Narrations of citizenship and nation in UK citizenship ceremonies

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Abstract

In 2004, the first citizenship ceremony was conducted in the London Borough of Brent. These compulsory ceremonies for those who have been granted British citizenship had been proposed in the government white paper and then in the 2002 Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act. They were designed to celebrate the moment of achieving citizenships and were one response to a perceived 'crisis of citizenship' in Britain. This study examines the texts of the 'local welcome' which is given by a local dignitary at every ceremony as a moment of invention of tradition and of narrating citizenship and thereby narrating the nation-state. The study explores how and what the speeches tell us about understandings of citizenship and its relationship to diversity. It explores how history is also represented within the speeches. Finally, the study interrogates the texts' telling of a multi-cultural story. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-544
Number of pages13
JournalCitizenship Studies
Volume16
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • Britishness
  • citizenship
  • citizenship ceremonies
  • immigration policy
  • national identity

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