Since the 1990s, citizenship has been transformed into an anthropological genre. Anthropologists have employed terms such as “transnational,” “insurgent,” and “patriotic” to describe the subjective, cultural, and political dimensions of citizenship. Anthropologists have also differentiated between formal and substantive, legal and cultural, and full and partial citizenship to theorize the disjunction between the promise of state-granted rights and everyday experiences of belonging to a nation-state. And, with increasing mobilities, anthropologists have reconceptualized the politics of exclusion that underlies state policies aimed at undocumented migrants. Now more than ever, anthropology is needed in the study of citizenship and noncitizenship both to illuminate the particulars of how social actors navigate national belonging and to rescue citizenship from state policies aimed at exclusion, death, and the diminution of rights.
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