Territoriality and Migration in a Divided Society: Lay Theories of Citizenship and Place in Northern Ireland

Stevenson, Clifford and Sagherian-Dickey, Thia (2018) Territoriality and Migration in a Divided Society: Lay Theories of Citizenship and Place in Northern Ireland. Qualitative Psychology, 5 (1). pp. 135-154. ISSN 2326-3601

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/qup0000072


The study of citizenship has increasingly focused on the ways in which spatialized understandings of the concept can be used to marginalise and exclude social groups: exclusive constructions of national boundaries, local neighbourhoods and public spaces can deny marginalised groups their social and political rights. Less attention has been paid to how constructions of place can accommodate different groups’ rights and promote peaceful coexistence. This is particularly important in locations where migration disrupts existing understandings (‘lay theories’) of the relationship between residency, identity and collective rights. The present research examines how spatialized understandings of citizenship shape perceptions of intergroup mixing in previously segregated areas of a post-conflict society. Critical Discursive Social Psychological (CDSP) analysis of 30 interviews with long-term residents and recent migrants to increasingly mixed areas of Belfast shows that, while all participants acknowledged Northern Ireland’s territorialisation, different lay theories of citizenship underpin the possibility and desirability of intergroup coexistence. Long-term residents drew upon understandings of the negative citizenry of the outgroup to argue against the possibility of peaceful coexistence within their locale, while recent incomers gave evidence of their own experiences of good citizenship within the shared spaces of neighbourhood to demonstrate that this could and should be achieved. The implications of lay theories of citizenship for the study of residential migration and mixing are discussed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Keywords: citizenship, migration, intergroup contact
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Dr Clifford Stevenson
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2016 11:09
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:57
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/700654

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