On Bosco et al

Two questions to get started:

What are the most important points raised by the article?

The authors cite Yuval-Davies to argue that “It is through difference that equality is defined.” (p 160) What does this mean in the context of this article?

3 thoughts on “On Bosco et al

  1. This article explores the ways in which migrants, in this case those in southern California, are expected to assimilate into the American culture. The dominant, normative view is that by assimilating, we can all be equal. However, this view assumes that there is nothing for either party to gain from the maintenance of another’s culture. This assumption that the dominant culture is to be aspired to and the migrant’s cultural identity is to be shaken off is at its core one of superiority versus inferiority. In this paradigm, it is impossible to call both parties equal. Through Yubal-Davies the authors explain that it is through these very differences that we can each become equal. Communities can and ought to be created by all of the people who are a part of them. A community will then be reflective of the many influences that it is composed of. In this way, the people can attempt to claim the existence of equality.

  2. The concept of citizenship is unpacked in Bosco, Aitken & Herman (2011). Is the current strict definition of citizenship that relates to the place where you have lived, limit people’s potential in society and is this purposefully done to keep certain groups of people isolated? It seems the government is dividing people again creating an “us” vs “them” or a line to differentiate people based on their rights. This is shown through the story in which the government was not allowing children to translate for their parents, which seemed to target a specific group of people.

  3. Yuval- Davies’ notion of ‘differently-equal’ is used by the authors to counter the neoliberal view of equality as contingent upon sameness, in order to argue that the forms of participation and citizenship exercised by the undocumented immigrant women and their children in the article should be viewed as relational and interdependent ‘rather than in terms of their autonomous rights’. Instead of privileging objective notions of rationality and reason, which excludes children as citizens (even as they assume adult responsibilities), difference-centred theories acknowledge subjective experiences, understanding freedom as ‘the right to participate differently’. This broadens the types of acceptable and recognized forms of participation.

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