• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the extent to which T H Marshall's concept of citizenship has relevance for today's welfare state.

Extracts from this document...


Examine the extent to which T H Marshall's concept of citizenship has relevance for today's welfare state. by Matthew Ott Understanding of the concept of citizenship is very important in the forming of Government, law, social policies and their impact on individuals (Drake, 2001). For this reason there has been much interest and study into the concept of citizenship as it is a vital factor in societies throughout history and across the globe. Put simply, citizenship mediates interactions between individuals and the state; indeed T H Marshall defines citizenship as "a status bestowed on those who are full members of a community. All who possess the status are equal with respect to the rights and duties with which the status is endowed". In his literature "Citizenship and Social class" (1963), the fulfillment of citizenship depended on a person's access to civil, political and social rights. By civil rights, Marshall was referring to rights necessary for individual freedom, for example freedom of speech, thought and religion, the right to own property and to conclude valid contracts, and the right to justice (Marshall, 1963). Political rights denotes the "participation" aspect of citizenship, e.g. the rights to participate in the exercise of political power as a member of a governing body or as an elector and therefore the right to vote and seek political office in free elections (Marshall, 1950). ...read more.


If an individual refused to take up these options, they would receive no benefits, this is what is known as "Making work Pay"; a well known New Labour policy. This is another example of a change to the view of citizenship; in that recent society has seen a greater level of spending on not only benefits and rights, but New Labour have also increased spending on education on citizenship. Citizenship is now not only a topic taught to schoolchildren in modern day Britain, but is also advertised to all in society via marketing schemes which put across the idea of citizenship, one's rights and even "how to be a good citizen" ( Lavalette and Pratt, 2001, www.citizen.org.uk ) At the time of writing, the society to which Marshall was applying his theories did not encompass rights and responsibilities for women. This was for a number of reasons, firstly, women were not as large a part of the work force as they are now, and so their rights and responsibilities were not as prominent as they are in today's welfare state. They also did not have such a prolific status as men, or as they do now. This therefore proves Marshall's concept to be less relevant nowadays than at the time of writing. Gender role changes which have occurred over time have led to a different view on citizenship and this has been catalysed by various policies undertaken by recent Governments, for example child benefit, free care for working mother's children and a general move towards greater acknowledgement and justice of/for women. ...read more.


have pointed out the previously stated problem. According to Giddens, Marshall writes as if citizenship grows according to some inevitable inner logic of modernity; class struggle is hinted at by Marshall, but not really developed as a theory of social change (Faulks 1998). He failed to consider how future governments and societies would be willing to accept the inevitable cost of social rights, citizenship itself is never static but is dependant upon complex processes of social and economic change. It can therefore be said that Marshall's concept of citizenship bears a certain relevance to present day society and welfare state, yet many key features of his theory are no longer relevant, for example the role of women in work markets. Due to evolution of society, his thesis is less relevant due to the need for further rights, for example welfare rights, involving a certain level of redistribution, as put forward by Turner (1993). Yet the core of his concept, the key factors concerning citizenship are still relevant, and are possible to be applied to present day citizenship, yet for his writing to be fully relevant, additions and modifications need to be made. In conclusion, the concept of citizenship put forward by Marshall is the building block, the foundation for other theories to be cemented upon as time, society and citizenship itself evolves. This is still relevant to a certain extent, yet with changes in gender roles, governments (i.e. New Deal ), and increasing differences in culture and class (among other factors), his theory cannot be applied directly and correctly to today's welfare state. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Describe the major theories of citizenship. What are the various dimensions of citizenship as ...

    This will be addressed in more detail. The first of these three distinct parts of citizenship that will be looked at is the civil elements. This refers to an individuals' right to freedom as well as applying to justice within the law and within the court system.

  2. The Concept of CSR

    are being forced to address social problems, previously perceived as the responsibility of government & civil society. In order to succeed & be perceived as good corporate citizens, more organisations are integrating social & environmental concerns into their business operations, creating value & profit by producing goods & services that society demands as well as welfare for society.

  1. Is the study of class still relevant in the UK today?

    He defined class as 'a group of individuals who share a similar position in a market economy'. Class is influenced by jobs as market position is class position allowing for a number of occupational classes. Different classes have different life chances e.g.

  2. Gender Capital ? - Bourdieu and Gender Inequality

    Marx paid little attention to the cultural sphere, believing it to be little more than a false veneer, a by-product of the capitalist organisation of the relations of production which served to mask the reality of social exploitation. Though it is Comte that is often accredited as the founding father

  1. This essay proposes to discuss different accounts of the welfare state by both mainstream ...

    In her study Bryson found that black, disabled and lesbians were all coerced into having abortions and were refused access to fertility treatment. Many radical feminists, Zalewski (1996), Rowland (1992), and Politt (1995), then agreed that abortion should be available to women that wanted it and all women were entitled to have children.

  2. Organizational Perspectives on Stratification.

    In the past, two approaches to analyzing the occupational hierarchy have been used: -the effort to develop a socioeconomic classification scheme for occupations, usually with a composite index of education and income levels of workers in each occupational category. -public opinion surveys of the ratings of the general standing or

  1. Active Citizenship

    needed to be carried out before we set out on our expedition. Firstly, the group needs to create a planned route that we set out on, and this requires full participation from all the group's members. After the route has been created, the next aim would be to organise where the camping location would be.


    The National Insurance Act 1946 was to create a comprehensive system of sickness, pensions and unemployment benefits funded by employers, employees and the government. The NHS Act 1948 was the first universal state health service providing free treatment of illness and also free dental and eye treatment.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work