Affective citizenship in multicultural societies: Implications for critical citizenship education | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1751-1917
  • E-ISSN: 1751-1925



This article explores the concept of ‘affective citizenship’ and its potential contribution to citizenship education discourses in multicultural societies. This exploration is grounded in analysing two widespread emotional injunctions in such societies: the calls for ‘embracing the other’ and ‘coping with difference’. The analysis examines how these emotional injunctions imply ambivalent rather than monolithic notions about the ideal of the ‘affective citizen’ that is promoted in schools. A key argument of this article is that the assumptions that inform discourses of citizenship education in multicultural societies – namely assumptions about what constitutes ‘good citizenship’ in a multicultural society that wants to encourage its citizens to cope with difference and embrace the other – need to be critically interrogated for their underlying emotional tensions and the ambivalent obligations they may create. To do this, more attention to issues of affective citizenship is needed in schools and particularly to the ways in which such issues can be used by teachers as points of departure to instill more criticality in students’ understandings of and feelings about citizenship.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error