What Defines Citizenship?

In class, we talked about what defines citizenship. Especially, what classifies a person as a citizen and who decides they aren’t a citizen. So, I wanted to touch on that a little bit. I wanted to talk about whether citizenship is limited to the legal definition or if there is something else that could make a person feel like a citizen of the environment they are in.

In my opinion, I feel that there is a difference between the legal law and what ties us to who we are; being a citizen of something. I think that a part of it depends on what ties a person to a certain area. A home town, their religion, their family, their friends, any of their affiliations. These things to me, seem like something that could tie an individual to the feeling of being a citizen. I think that being a citizen goes much deeper than just being obligated to follow the rules and follow in civic obligation.

A citizen from a legal standpoint is obligated to do what the state requires of them. In the United States, being a citizen requires that if you are called to jury duty then you show up since the states provide protection. However, a citizen of a church or an association, have different obligations as a citizen. They may be required to show up to events, volunteer, help with promotions, etc. I also think that being a citizen comes with what you identify with. What is home to you.

Because I think that, it becomes difficult to find out who is, or rather, what decided what determines a citizen. But the simple answer is that in the state of a nation, what defines a citizen is up to the nation that is at question. When looking at the question of “what if the child is born on the nation’s territory, but the parents are not citizens of the nation?” Unfortunately, like stated before, it comes down to the legality of it when it comes to what defines a citizen of a nation.

In my own opinion, I think that if a child is born in a nation but the parents are not citizens of the nation, and the nation the parents are citizens of is in worse shape that the nation the child was born in then the child should become a citizen. But then that raises the question of why can’t the parents become citizens as well? And the unfortunate and annoying answer of that question is: it is up to the nation that the parents/child wants to become a citizen of.

It is such an unfortunate thing when dealing with being a citizen of something because there is so many different ways that a person can look at what determines a citizen. There’s the religious definition, there is the legal definition, then there is the personal definition. Due to the many different definitions that there may be, there is such a large grey area of what a citizen is, who a citizen is, and so many other questions as well.