T.H. Marshall's Theory of Citizenship

Critically discuss T. H. Marshall’s theory of citizenship as outlined inCitizenship and Social Class ( 1949/1992 ) .

At the Centre of the development of citizenship in modern Britain is the pioneering work of T.H. Marshall ( Faulks, 1998 ) . T.H. Marshall proposed an highly influential theory in respects to citizenship ( Dwyer, 2010 ) .

Through his analysis of citizenship, Marshall has to be acknowledged as placing an original theoretical base point from which to understand a societal phenomenon ( Held and Thompson, 1989 ) . Few British Social Scientists other than Marshall have straight considered the construct of citizenship and made it their cardinal focal point in their work ( Lister, 2010 ) . Therefore, it has been Marshall’s part that has been considered a get downing point for farther research into the topic of citizenship rights ( Held and Thompson, 1989 ) . Furthermore, as Roche ( 1992 ) has identified, Marshall’s writings organize a cardinal text which he has labelled the ‘Dominant paradigm’ within citizenship theory in Britain ( Faulks, 1998 ) .

When reviewing the work of Marshall it is of import to recognize how defining citizenship is built-in to understanding the constructs expressed in his work and others to day of the month.

Marshall defined citizenship as ‘full rank of a community’ ( Marshall, 1963: 72 ) . Marshall so clarified that full citizenship position involved rank of a national community ( Dwyer, 2010 ) . Marshall’s deduction was that each person considered a citizen could, hence, expect certain rights of entitlement from the province and in return would be expected to continue certain criterions or responsibilities within the community to be considered a ‘citizen’ . As the definition of citizenship has developed over the old ages so has the constructs of which it encompasses.

Get quality help now

Proficient in: Astronomy

4.9 (247)

“ Rhizman is absolutely amazing at what he does . I highly recommend him if you need an assignment done ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

As such, when reviewing Marshall’s work it is of import to admit the epoch during which the theories considered were proposed as noted by Dwyer ( 2010 ) . The fortunes during the clip of this essay were well different to those of modern society within Britain. Marshall’s work was considered following the Second World War and the constitution of the station war public assistance colony ( Dwyer, 2010 ) . Consequently, this has led to critical treatment of Marshall’s theories sing citizenship and its value by a figure of faculty members to day of the month ( Alcock, 1989 ; Delanty, 2000 ; Dwyer, 2010 and Lister, 2010 ) .

Marshall considers each facet by analyzing each attack historically to the development for rights. Marshall outlined three interlinked elements of rights that took the signifier of civil, political and societal rights ( Lister, 2010 ) . The construct of civil rights in Britain came to prominence during the 18th century and included ;

‘the rights necessary for single freedom, autonomy of the individual, freedom of address, thought and faith, the right to have belongings and to reason valid contractors, and the right to justice’

( Marshall, 1963: 74 ) .

Discussion of political rights followed during the 19th century, which included, the right to vote and stand for political office ( Marshall, 1949/1992 ) . The concluding component of rights was concluded with the ownership of societal rights to to the full categorize person as a citizen. The construct of societal rights developed chiefly in the station Second World War period. Marshall’s definition of societal rights has undergone much examination due to his equivocal theoretical position. Powell ( 2002 ) and Dwyer ( 2010 ) in peculiar remark on this deficiency of lucidity,

“He is clear that there is no overarching cosmopolitan rule that decidedly defines what citizenship grants or requires”

( Dwyer, 2010:39 ) .

As Marshall ( 1949/92 ) high spots on several occasions, civil citizenship rights are wholly of the conditions of a free market economic system, including a ‘free ‘ labor market. Conversely, Marshall appears to be instead cognizant of the contradictions within the assorted strands of citizenship, although the facets seem to complect it would look they do non ever agree. Potential contradictions between societal and civil citizenship, Marshall openly discussed in footings of the struggle between citizenship and category ( Bagguley, 2013 ) .

As Turner ( 1993 ) indicates, Marshall’s analysis of capitalist economy versus democracy contained a figure of ambiguities, but as a whole, Marshall strongly argued that the public assistance province would restrict the negative impact of category differences on single life-chances. Ultimately this would heighten the individual’s committedness to the system. Additionally, the epoch of which societal rights were development may impact how some persons may construe them ( Lister, 2010 ) .

The development of civil freedoms was a important measure in the undoing of the hierarchal crude restrictions of position or responsibility to an individual’s societal higher-ups ( Lister, 2010 ) . Civil freedoms were besides a necessary foundation for the ulterior development of the 2nd type of rights noted by Marshall as political rights.

Marshall acknowledges four major purposes to his essay. First, he examines whether citizenship is compatible with the category construction in a capitalist society such as Britain. Although he states this is possible, persons such as Faulks, ( 1998 ) feel he is ‘cautious’ in saying this. The tenseness between citizenship and capitalist economy arises out of the fact that citizenship high spots equality, while capitalist economy presumes inequality ( Dwyer, 2010 ) . For Marshall, the compatibility of citizenship with capitalist economy was due to societal rights by ‘civilising’ the impact of the market ( Faulks, 1998 ) . Marshall identifies the addition of incomes, the growing of nest eggs and the success of mass production as enabling society to redistribute wealth and societal power ( Lister, 2010 ) . Developments such as the progressive revenue enhancement system and the usage of legal assistance are shown to cut down the influence of category, efficaciously, making societal justness via societal rights ( Held and Thompson, 1989 ) . As his 2nd consideration, truly, Marshall argues that citizenship in Britain can non be to the full achieved without changing market operations of the clip ( Faulks, 1998 ) . Third, Marshall identifies the displacement to rights away from duties and the consequence of this, and he considered this to be the most of import facet of citizenship in modern Britain ( Somers, 2004 ) . Finally, Marshall attempts to set up the bounds of societal equality and find merely how far the battle for societal justness could realistically travel ( Tilly, 1996 ) . Marshall contended an image of an ‘ideal citizenship’ and thereby, a end towards which aspirations can be directed.

T.H. Marshall’s attack to societal citizenship has been regarded as a democratic socialist position. As Delanty ( 2002 ) recognised, societal democracy and Marshall’s classless liberalism had several facets in common. Other influential minds such as Richard Titmuss shared a similar passion within the societal democratic tradition ( Dwyer, 2010 ) . Dwyer ( 2010 ) and Alcock and Oakley ( 2001 ) have identified the attacks of Titmuss and Marshall, who portion several resemblances. Each author showed a considerable importance to universal unrestricted public assistance rights. Furthermore, both Marshall and Titmuss, outlined the designation and consideration of the ‘class struggle’ which is notably identified as an of import facet of the development of societal citizenship. Marshall and Titmuss besides suggest that the development of British industrial capitalist economy is of greater significance for the outgrowth of societal rights ( Dwyer, 2010 ) . Additionally, the two authors shared the same optimism about the motives that underpin human nature. Titmuss and Marshall both assumed that citizens would largely act in a responsible mode and expression to heighten their ain lives, and the lives of fellow members of their national community, instead than mistreat any benefits that societal rights may convey for single addition ( Alcock and Oakley, 2001 )

As Dwyer ( 2010 ) , truly provinces, personal reading is finally what pins down the determination about whether or non the work of T.H. Marshall can be seen as societal democratic. Key subjects that are cardinal to Social Democracy have been identified as: the publicity of equality, freedom, societal integrating and cosmopolitan rights to welfare ( Held and Thompson, 1989 ; Turner, 1993 ) . Arguably Marshall’s ( 1949/92 ) indorsement of these beliefs identifies him as a societal Democrat of kinds, even if possibly he moved off from this place in ulterior life. Delanty ( 2000 ) refers to Marshall’s positions as a socially democratic left flying broad attack to citizenship.

Marshall’s Citizenship theory, although seen as pioneering, has been the head of many reviews ( Dwyer, 2010 ) . As Tilly ( 1996 ) provinces, Marxist critics of Marshall’s work on citizenship are widely known, depicting the analysis Marshall has given every bit superficial as it does non highlight, a citizen’s right to command economic production, which has been argued as a necessity for continual shared richness ( Somers, 1994 ) . Furthermore, feminist positions as stated by Lister ( 2008 ) states Marshall’s theory as being highly confined in being entirely on work forces, while non admiting, the societal rights of adult females. ( Held and Thompson 1989 ) . Therefore, Marshall’s Theory reflects that of merely the on the job category white male position ( Lister, 2003 ) . His statement that in England wholly people were free and had civil rights can be seen as fancied, as at the clip merely work forces had ‘legal freedom’ or the capableness to exert political or civil rights ( Lister, 2008 ) . Additionally, Marshall does non discourse other facets of society including 2nd category citizens and gender and racial hierarches ( Tilly, 1996 ) . Although Marshall did non discourse the issues associated with 2nd category people, he acknowledged that citizenship itself plays a portion in societal inequality ( Marshall, 1942/92 ) . As one time noted earlier it is of import to understand the fortunes during the clip of this essay were well different to those of modern society within Britain ( Dwyer, 2010 ) Furthermore, Neo-liberal positions and free market political orientation asserts that the non-engagement of the province from economic protection is the foundation of a society with strength and goodness ( Held and Thompson, 1989 ) . Consequently they are wholly opposed to the societal rights proposed by Marshall ( Turner, 1993 ) . Neo-liberals alternatively suggest that public assistance plans such as some of the societal duties discussed by Marshall to assist the hapless in efficaciously using their civil and political rights, have promoted passiveness among the hapless without bettering life opportunities and have created a civilization of public assistance dependence ( Held and Thompson, 1989 ; Roche, 1992 ) .

Citizenship, or the equality of rights it generates, becomes an integrative procedure antagonizing the inclinations towards societal division and struggle generated by the economic system. For Marshall, inequality was non an issue within itself. His focal point was to happen an acceptable balance between the forces for inequality and those for equality ( Lewis 1998 ) . Marshall distinguished between countries of the public assistance province where greater grades of inequality where acceptable and those where this was non the instance, as the contrasts between the wellness service system and legal assistance high spot ( Marshall, 1949/92 ) . Furthermore, this illustrated that for Marshall, citizenship concepts an affinity between rights and responsibilities. However, this balance is non distributed every bit among all who might do the claim to citizenship ( Lewis, 1998 ) .

To reason, while sing whether citizenship is compatible with the category construction in a capitalist society such as Britain, Marshall seems cautious in saying that this is possible ( Faulks, 1998 ) . Marshall provided an evolutionary position of citizenship, developing through assorted phases and degrees to make its concluding incarnation in the rules of British public assistance political relations ( Turner, 1993 ) . The extent of rights and responsibilities that citizenship entails is unfastened to ongoing argument and has been challenged over clip. However, Marshall seems positive about the enrichment of citizenship at the clip of authorship ( Dwyer, 2010 ) . Initially, Marshall put the relationship between the citizen, the province and the societal public assistance at the Centre of his analysis. Marshall achieved this by his suggestion of consisting citizenship into three complecting facets. Marshall viewed civil, political and societal rights as a consequence of an evolutionary procedure, with each component overlapping ( Turner, 1993 ) . Marshall’s citizenship is a position rendered to people who can claim full citizenship of a community. Although, as noted by Lewis ( 1998 ) Marshall did non clearly province a standard to which people may get such rank. Furthermore, there is a long and on-going argument as to whether Marshall intended his historical analysis to be interpreted as a general theory of citizenship or whether the essay was merely a commentary on the developments of citizenship within England ( Faulks, 1998 ) .


Alcock, P. ( 1989 ) . ‘Why Citizenship and New Welfare Rights Offer new Hope for Welfare in Britain, ’ Critical Social Policy,Vol 19, no 2, pp 32-43

Alcock, P. and Oakley, A. ( 2001 ) . ‘Introduction’ , in P.Alcock, H Glennerster, A. Oakley and A. Sinfield ( explosive detection systems )Welfare and Wellbeing: Richard Titmuss’s part to societal policy,Bristol: The Policy Press, pp1-9

Bagguley, P. ( 2013 ) “ Industrial citizenship: a re-conceptualisation and instance survey of the UK ” ,International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy,Vol. 33 no: 5/6, pp.265 – 279

Delanty, G. ( 2000 )Citizenship in a Global Age: Society Culture and Politics,Buckingham: Open University Press

Dwyer, P. ( 2010 ) .Understanding Social Citizenship: Subjects and positions for policy and pattern. 2nd erectile dysfunction. Great Britain: The Policy Press.

Faulks, K ( 1998 ) .Citizenship in Modern Britain. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Held, D. and Thompson, J. ( 1989 ) .Social Theory of Modern Societies: Anthony Giddens and His Critics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lewis, G. ( 1998 ) . Citizenship. In: Hughes, G.Imagining Welfare Futures. London: Routledge Ltd. pp 103-50.

Lister, R ( 2003 ) .Citizenship: Feminist Positions. 2nd erectile dysfunction. New York: New York University Press. 2003.

Lister, R ( 2010 ) .Understanding Theories and Concepts in Social Policy.Great Britain: The Policy Press.

Marshall, T.H. ( 1949/92 ) ‘Citizenship and societal class’ , in T.H. Marshall and T.Bottomore,Citizenship and societal category, London: Pluto Press

Marshall, T.H. and Bottomore, T. ( 1992 )Citizenship and societal category,London: Pluto Press

Powell, M. ( 2002 ) ‘The Hidden History of Social Citizenship’ ,Citizenship Studies,Vol 6, no 3, pp 229-45

Somers, M. R. ( 1994) , Rights, Relationality, and Membership: Rethinking the Making and Meaning of Citizenship. Law & A ; Social Inquiry, 19: 63–114.

Tilly, C ( 1996 ) .Citizenship, Identity and Social History.International Review of Social History, 40, pp 1-17.

Turner, B ( 1993 ) .Citizenship and Social Theory. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Student Exam figure: Y82850301

Cite this page

T.H. Marshall's Theory of Citizenship. (2017, Aug 04). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-t-h-marshalls-theory-of-citizenship/

T.H. Marshall's Theory of Citizenship
Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7