Citizenship is a fluid notion, ebbing and flowing depending on the state and nature of society, the resources available to its citizens, and its State ideology. While times have moved on since the writings of T. H. Marshall, a key citizenship theorist in the 1950’s who imagined near-(but not total) equality in liberal society at times of social plenty, the concept has continued to be lauded for its implicit progressive nature. That should normally be good news to Deaf people who desire an ‘equal’ relationship in society in connection to all matters legal, political or social. In a current climate of austerity measures in liberal democracies, it appears that there are likely to be struggles in promoting social cohesion, with minority and oppressed groups bearing the brunt of cost cutting. The question of the extent of the quality of citizenship suddenly becomes tied into the availability of resources, either private or public. For as long as there is ‘wealth’, it seemed that liberal society could gradually afford to include more of its formerly excluded citizens through democratic deliberation. The individual human rights of Deaf children and adults were continually being recognised as universal and natural. In this paper I will suggest that the changing economic climate will leave open spaces that challenge individual liberal notions of Deaf citizenship. Concepts of social citizenship along class lines or of minority group rights can begin to emerge. Group rights can shift social policy towards envisioning Deaf citizens as part of a multicultural citizenship, but there may have to be a conceding that individual rights of Deaf people have their limitations.
|Translated title of the contribution||We are familiar with the group but what about the rights? Deaf people and multiultural citizenship|
|Title of host publication||Supporting Deaf People Online conference|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Feb 2011|
Bibliographical noteMedium/genre: Online
Conference Organiser: Supporting Deaf People Online
Other: Keynote Invited Speaker