Territoriality and migration in a divided society: lay theories of citizenship and place in Northern Ireland

Stevenson, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-2438-6425 and Sagherian-Dickey, T., 2017. Territoriality and migration in a divided society: lay theories of citizenship and place in Northern Ireland. Qualitative Psychology. ISSN 2326-3598

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The study of citizenship has increasingly focused on the ways in which spatialized understandings of the concept can be used to marginalise and exclude social groups: exclusive constructions of national boundaries, local neighbourhoods and public spaces can deny marginalised groups their social and political rights. Less attention has been paid to how constructions of place can accommodate different groups’ rights and promote peaceful coexistence. This is particularly important in locations where migration disrupts existing understandings (‘lay theories’) of the relationship between residency, identity and collective rights. The present research examines how spatialized understandings of citizenship shape perceptions of intergroup mixing in previously segregated areas of a post-conflict society. Critical Discursive Social Psychological (CDSP) analysis of 30 interviews with long-term residents and recent migrants to increasingly mixed areas of Belfast shows that, while all participants acknowledged Northern Ireland’s territorialisation, different lay theories of citizenship underpin the possibility and desirability of intergroup coexistence. Long-term residents drew upon understandings of the negative citizenry of the outgroup to argue against the possibility of peaceful coexistence within their locale, while recent incomers gave evidence of their own experiences of good citizenship within the shared spaces of neighbourhood to demonstrate that this could and should be achieved. The implications of lay theories of citizenship for the study of residential migration and mixing are discussed.

Item Type: Journal article
Description: This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Publication Title: Qualitative Psychology
Creators: Stevenson, C. and Sagherian-Dickey, T.
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Date: 30 March 2017
ISSN: 2326-3598
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 23 Jan 2017 14:23
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:11
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/29928

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