front cover of Obligations
Essays on Disobedience, War, and Citizenship
Michael Walzer
Harvard University Press, 1970
In this collection of essays, Michael Walzer discusses how obligations are incurred, sustained, and (sometimes) abandoned by citizens of the modern state and members of political parties and movements as they respond to and participate in the most crucial and controversial aspects of citizenship: resistance, dissent, civil disobedience, war, and revolution. Walzer approaches these issues with insight and historical perspective, exhibiting an extraordinary understanding for rebels, radicals, and rational revolutionaries. The reader will not always agree with Walzer but he cannot help being stimulated, excited, challenged, and moved to thoughtful analysis.

front cover of On the Margins of Citizenship
On the Margins of Citizenship
Intellectual Disability and Civil Rights in Twentieth-Century America
Allison C. Carey
Temple University Press, 2010
On the Margins of Citizenship provides a comprehensive, sociological history of the fight for civil rights for people with intellectual disabilities. Allison Carey, who has been active in disability advocacy and politics her entire life, draws upon a broad range of historical and legal documents as well as the literature of citizenship studies to develop a “relational practice” approach to the issues of intellectual disability and civil rights. She examines how and why parents, self-advocates, and professionals have fought for different visions of rights for this population throughout the twentieth century and how things have changed over that time.

Carey addresses the segregation of people with intellectual disabilities in schools and institutions along with the controversies over forced sterilization, eugenics, marriage and procreation, and protection from the death penalty. She chronicles the rise of the parents’ movement and the influence of the Kennedy family, as well as current debates that were generated by the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990.

Presenting the shifting constitutional and legal restrictions for this marginalized group, Carey argues that policies tend to sustain an ambiguity that simultaneously promises rights yet also allows their retraction.

front cover of Ordinary Genomes
Ordinary Genomes
Science, Citizenship, and Genetic Identities
Karen-Sue Taussig
Duke University Press, 2009
Ordinary Genomes is an ethnography of genomics, a global scientific enterprise, as it is understood and practiced in the Netherlands. Karen-Sue Taussig’s analysis of the Dutch case illustrates how scientific knowledge and culture are entwined: Genetics may transform society, but society also transforms genetics. Taussig traces the experiences of Dutch people as they encounter genetics in research labs, clinics, the media, and everyday life. Through vivid descriptions of specific diagnostic processes, she illuminates the open and evolving nature of genetic categories, the ways that abnormal genetic diagnoses are normalized, and the ways that race, ethnicity, gender, and religion inform diagnoses. Taussig contends that in the Netherlands ideas about genetics are shaped by the desire for ordinariness and the commitment to tolerance, two highly-valued yet sometimes contradictory Dutch social ideals, as well as by Dutch history and concerns about immigration and European unification. She argues that the Dutch enable a social ideal of tolerance by demarcating and containing difference so as to minimize its social threat. It is within this particular construction of tolerance that the Dutch manage the meaning of genetic difference.

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