Citizenship And Social Class, T. H. Marshall Essay

784 Words Jun 5th, 2015 4 Pages
In his article on citizenship and social class, T. H. Marshall traces the history of citizenship in England and divides it under three types of rights: civil, political, and social. He states they all began as one. However, with time they separated, in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century, respectively. Each of these types of rights emerged because the public demanded them, and each went its own way, without regard for the other rights. They were completely separate. It wasn’t until recently, in this century, that the three types of rights managed to meet again and walk side by side in cooperation. Rooted in its history, capitalism also plays a role, in the maintenance of the rigid lines between them and in their eventual union. Marshall defines the term citizenship as “a status bestowed on those who are full members of a society” and they are all “equal with respect to the rights and duties which the status is endowed". He further explains that those who acquire this status go on to attain a “fuller measure of equality” (18). In simple terms, Marshall is saying that the path of citizenship is a path of equality. Social class, on the other hand, is the opposite. According to Marshall, it is a path of inequality. As opposites, one would expect the two principles to come into conflict, but surprisingly, they managed to grow and flourish abreast when citizenship was a developing institution and capitalism was rising. It did however, only last until the…

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