Sustaining Cultural Capital in a Global Era: Social Capital, Capacity Building and Citizenship Rights
Discourses on globalisation, multiculturalism and transnationalism have tended to primarily to focus on political, social and economic elements such as the movements of finance, people, media and ideas. Transnational migration explores the realities of individuals, families and groups whose lives are rooted in more than one nation-state and where people’s lives are characterized by simultaneous connections and identities as they negotiate multiple host societies and transnational relationships.
Discourses of citizenship are a vehicle for putting forward demands for egalitarian social and economic goals within the nation state. However, the reference to citizenship rights is inadequate to offer protection and sustainability, particularly in the context of transnationalism and non-citizenship. Many people adopt transnational identities and operate beyond the confines of the national state. Furthermore, globalisation and multiculturalism, as a consequence of human mobility, migration and tourism, has brought the ‘other’ within our societies and that the strangeness of the outside world cannot be sustained as the ‘otherness has been domesticated’.
Thus, citizenship discourses need to be altered and strengthened for a global era. The rethinking of citizenship is being challenged by different schools of thought: feminist pointing to gendered citizenship, postmodernism challenging notions of singular identity and universal rights, political scientists questioning whether citizenship rests with civil society or the nation state; and whether citizenship is to be derived from human rights or be understood in specific regimes differentially. This paper argues that there is a clear link between citizenship rights and cultural sustainability. It is asserted that for long-term cultural sustainability, post-nation state regimes of citizenship need to be developed and the bounded notions of citizenship rights need to be abandoned. The contention of this paper is that cultural sustainability and consequent strengthening of rights will emerge through building social capital and community capacity. The paper points out those factors such as identity, emotions, fear, relationships, domination and acceptance are equally important in building social capital. Discussion on social capital tends to be limited in relation building cultural capital. The paper examines ways of building cultural capital through an exploration of factors building cultural capital, examining social exclusion and ideas in relation to cultural domination. The paper concludes by looking at cultural sustainability through social inclusion in a number of dimensions: psychology of inclusion, sociology of inclusion and infrastructure of inclusion, which are factors towards building stronger and more universal citizenship rights.
Keywords: Cultural Sustainability, Cultural and Social Capital, Post-national Citizenship
Prof. Hurriyet Babacan
Associate Director, Centre for Multicultural and Community Development, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Hurriyet has been recognised for her work including: Bi-centenary Medal awarded by the Prime Minister 2002 for contribution to community and academic life; Multicultural Services Award awarded by the Premier of Queensland 1999, Queensland State Finalist for Government and Public Service 2003 in the Telstra Business Women’s Award; Nominated to Energex Community Hero, 2000; Awarded Certificate for Year of Volunteer by the Minister for Education, Ms Anna Bligh, 2001 for services to the community and Numerous Certificates of Appreciation by different organisations.