Week 1 discussion answer
Week 1 discussion answer SOC 151
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Don Jon on Friday January 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 151 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Dr. Waldinger in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 30 views. For similar materials see Comparative Immigration in Sociology at University of California - Los Angeles.
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Date Created: 01/22/16
1. Carens contends that “Like feudal birthright privilege, restrictive citizenship is hard to justify when one thinks about it closely.” (252) In that light, how does Walzer justify restrictive citizenship? And how convincing is the justification? According to Carens the ‘guests’ or ‘aliens’ should be provided with rights that of the inherent citizens because according to him rights should not be restricted to only one class or community who are natively living. However Walzer, very practically disregards’ this notion by saying “The guests don’t need citizenship at least not in the same sense as they might be said to need their jobs. Nor are they injured helpless destitute; they are able bodied and earning money.” Walzer justifies restrictive citizenship in this manner that the native citizens are the one who need and should be given the political and property rights. His claim is very convincing because it is more practical and he is also very convincing in wavering of the citizenship of guests as he says that if everyone was given citizenship “there would be no communities at all” (Carens, 1987). 2. Walzer suggests three analogues for the (national) political community: neighborhoods, clubs, families. How appropriate are these analogies? Walzer suggests three analogies for the national/political community, those being the neighborhood, clubs and families. It goes without saying that the most appropriate one amongst this is the notion which is presented by classifying the community as a family. By classifying them as neighborhoods we are suggesting that yes they move by choice but it is their choice not the choice of the neighbors, and hence it is up to them to accept them or not, hence hampering the belief of a community where bonded citizens (should) reside. As Walzer is justified in stating that “States are like families rather than clubs, for it is a feature of families that their members are morally connected to people they have not chosen, who live outside the household.” Thus the analogy that communities are like family is more appropriate from the three as it caters to the necessary principles of a community (Walzer, 2016). 3. Walzer contends that if states become large neighborhoods, neighborhoods would become states, making greater efforts to exclude outsiders (3639). On what basis does he make this argument? Is it convincing? Walzer claims, “If states ever become like neighborhoods, it is likely that neighborhoods will become like states.” He is making his argument by basing on the nature of the neighborhood. The state has walls, and it selects who it lets in and who not to. Whereas a neighborhood doesn’t have any limitations or walls, not even virtually to stop the movement of guests. Anyone can come and settle and leave when they please. So if the states become like neighborhoods it is likely that their walls would fall down and as Walzer says there would be no “cohesion.” Thus it is very convincing to ponder upon this notion, because it is evident that once the aliens are not stopped outside and let in, then they are likely to live and leave whenever they might please, which would make their ties with the state very weak and the centrality of the concept of community would collapse. Hence neighborhoods and states should stay in their own boundaries and follow their own paradigm of residence ship (Walzer, 2016). 4. According to Walzer, “The distinctiveness of culture and groups depends on closure and, without it, cannot be conceived as a stable feature of human life.” (39) Does he adequately defend this point of view? Do you agree or disagree? What does it imply about the relationship between political units and political communities (or the relationship between states and nations) No doubt that the distinctive feature of culture and groups is dependent upon closure and in the absence of it the stable feature of human life cannot be conceived. Walzer defends this point of view as he suggests that if the closure is not applied then the citizenship is not restricted and without it the there is no distinction whatsoever. It is up to the state to make practical usage of the term of closure when it comes to taking in guests and immigrants. The state has the right to close entering if they please but a point of concern is that it becomes a problem when no one is ready to take them. I agree with Walzer’s notion about closure, it is a necessity and should be applicable when it comes to states but should be elastic when dealing with neighborhoods. The relationship it signifies between the nation and the state is that state are looking for the positive growth of their nations and making amends and policies and implying closure for their own safety and prosperity thus it should not be thought ill of (Walzer, 2016). 5. Walzer argues that “Immigration and emigration are morally asymmetrical (40).” Why might this be so? According to Walzer both choosing to leave ones country, and coming to settle in another country (immigration and emigration) are both lacking moral symmetry because, yes the citizens of a state have the right to leave their land and go dwell in a foreign one, but that does not mean that they would be able to practice and enjoy the same rights and given the same ownership as they were given before in their naïve one. Also in cases of emergencies people are bound to leave their native land and go to a foreign one, although they are taken in, it is not possible that they be given the exact same rights as that of their citizens. Thus the absence of symmetry is quite evident and relevant in this regard (Walzer, 2016). 6. According to Walzer, states have an obligation to accept refugees, but only to a limited extent? Why? Walzer claims that states have an obligation to accept refuges, by this obligation he is suggesting that when someone comes to your door and knocks and cries and moans while saying that if you do not take me in I will be brutally killed and have no place to go, it is morally not possible to send that person away. Also states are obliges because in cases they are the ones responsible for making them the ‘refugees’ as they are the ones who caused for a riot in the refugees homeland and thus it is now on their shoulders to take them in. However the extent to which a state can take in refugees is limited as they have to cater to the interests and prosperity of their native citizens’ as well. And they cannot over crowd their state in the act of helping out damsels in distress. 7. Why does Walzer find guest worker programs objectionable (5661)? Walzer finds guest worker programs as objectionable because he believes that it is likely that a guest worker is likely to outdo a native citizen in the terms of work which would make is hard for the present citizen of that area. Also he believes that people are either the citizens or they are not, they have either a right to say or they do not. Hence it should be up to them to decide who to being into the work market and preference should not be given to foreign guest workers but to domestic citizen workers as in his view they deserve it more and a less threat to the present citizens of that particular land. Foreign workers believe that their stay is a prison as they are given minimal pays and have to work extra hours but still they do that, which implies that they are more hardworking and if not stopped they might take over the workforce of that particular state (Walzer, 2016). 8. What are the implications of Walzer’s view of citizenship for his views on immigration? Does Carens have a counter to this argument? According to Walzer citizenship should be available to people born in a given territory or born of parents who were citizens were more entitled to the benefits of citizenship than those born elsewhere or born of alien parents, immigration would reduce the economic wellbeing of current citizens, and the effect of immigration on the particular culture and history of the society (Walzer, 2016). Carens does have an argument to that where he states that “Birthplace and parentage are natural contingencies that are arbitrary from a moral point of view." Secondly he bases his argument on the threshold of liberty which states that even if they increase the economic growth (or decrease) it should not discriminate the ‘aliens’ from acquiring citizenship. Lastly he claims that “the effect of immigration on the particular culture and history of the society would not be a relevant moral consideration, so long as there was no threat to basic liberal democratic values” (Carens, 1987). 9. According to Carens there should be distinctions between members and nonmembers; in his view, what’s not acceptable is the exclusion of those who want to join. But can there be meaningful distinctions between members and nonmembers, if anyone can join? The question answers itself. Caren, with high morality grounds does claim that there should be a distinction between members and nonmembers of a community but he himself contradicts this statement when he says that there should not be an exclusion if anyone wants to join in. practically speaking if there are no boundaries and anyone can join a ‘group’ we can say, then what’s the point of that being a group at all. There cannot be legit and practical distinctions between members and nonmembers if anyone is given the right to join. As then they would all be considered equal and members sooner or later. Hence Caren contradicts himself in his claim and assumption. If members have a specific right which the nonmembers do not have, and there is an evident distinction between them, and if the nonmembers are free to become members then the presence of ‘distinction’ is wavered at this very point when a nonmember is allowed membership when pleased (Carens, 1987). 10. How does the contrast between Walzer and Carens identify a conflict within liberalism? Is this an inherent conflict? Is it escapable? And if the conflict is inescapable, does Cohen suggest means by which it can be mitigated or controlled? According to Walzer, “not beginning from general, abstract principles; rather, concrete, historical, particular circumstances” Whereas Caren suggests that “Liberalism is the tradition of societies like the United States” The Inner logic of liberalism requires equal treatment, relevance for rights for noncitizens, illiberal measures designed to restrict immigration violate the liberal principles. Thus these two points of views are at the far extremes and there is an inherent conflict as Walzer claims that there should be bounded communities for the prevalence of liberal values and Caren states that there can’t be liberalism if rights are restricted to citizens. Thus this conflict is inescapable and the suggested mean for mitigation or controlling is that the citizenship should be limited but not completely restricted. There should not be extreme exclusion but the criteria on the basis of which members can join. Also the walls of the community should not be either open or close but partly open to membership on the basis of selected criteria. 11. Can one have a democracy without a bounded community? Democracy suggests a freedom of rights, freedom of speech , the right to elect the government etc. if there are no bounded communities then the presence and prevalence of democracy are hard to muster and likely to not be achieved. In a bounded community the members clearly understand the repercussions and requirements for progress and they are the ones if given the voice, to make the right and legit decision for their betterment because when living there natively, they are familiar with what’s best in their interest. However the existence of democracy is an open community is not likely as nonmembers are not of the same opinions as the members and thus it gives a right to conflict and chaos. Thus without a bounded community democracy is not likely to prevail (Carens, 1987).
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