Saturday, August 23, 2008


"...The freedom of citizenship understood as the care of the self requires that citizens not only exercise freedom through choice, but are obliged to be free.

We want to insist that the emphasis on choice is not merely to be celebrated. The choices required of citizens are deeply problematic for a number of reasons. Consumerist forms of choice have come to play a significant role in the constitution and expression of the identities that result from projects of the self. Consumerist choices confront the citizen across all facets of civil society - religion, culture, recreation, and many others. The political sphere is similarly reorganized along consumerist lines where the old party sectarianism breaks down, and where advertising, photo opportunities, sound bites and spin doctors come to dominate. Little scope is left for decisions not already sanctioned in the bazaar of civil society. The politics of citizenship comes to be focused on mechanisms of governing through choices of autonomous individuals... "

(Melanie White and Alan Hunt, Citizenship: Care of the Self, Character and Personality)

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