Welfare, social citizenship, and the spectre of inequality in Amsterdam
This article explores how notions of citizenship are negotiated in encounters between parents and youth care professionals in Amsterdam in the context of heated debates over citizenship and belonging. We draw on ethnographic research on Egyptian migrant parents’ interactions with the welfare state, and on the work of youth care professionals. We found that both parents and professionals were invested in universal forms of citizenship. Parents wanted to be treated like their fellow citizens regardless of their background, while professionals wanted to care for all children. While parents feared and suspected that their children were subject to unfair treatment, professional practices left little space for disagreement or a consideration of racialized aspects of their encounters with clients. We conclude that notions of equal citizenship provide a primary, but uncertain ground for the elaboration of citizenship and belonging in parenting encounters, which is haunted by the spectre of difference and inequality.
- Anouk de Koning & Wiebe Ruijtenberg
- 01 December 2019
- Welfare, social citizenship, and the spectre of inequality in Amsterdam