Imagining and practising citizenship in austere times: the work of Citizens Advice

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This article explores the significance of citizenship for those working in Citizens Advice, a network of voluntary organizations in the UK that exists to provide peer-to-peer advice and support to those facing problems. Drawing on a recent research study, the article considers the ways in which the ‘citizen in citizens advice’ is imagined and translated into practice. Despite current political and policy moves to shrink citizenship (in terms of eligibility, access and substance), the ‘citizen in citizens advice’ is regularly thought about in expansive ways that draw on other imaginaries of citizenship. We suggest that these everyday discursive practices of citizenship are important both in analytic terms and in reinvigorating a political discussion otherwise focused upon restriction and exclusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)764-778
Number of pages15
JournalCitizenship Studies
Issue number6-7
Early online date6 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • citizenship
  • Austerity
  • advice
  • dialogism
  • discursive practice

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