Individuals, Corporations, and the Pedagogy of Citizenship
13 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2015
Date Written: May 2015
This essay examines access to and experiences in the market for citizenship (writ large to include legal, cultural, social, and political) across three broad categories: black Americans, immigrants, and corporations. Drawing on the critiques reanimated by the killings of youth, like Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the essay suggests that, while black Americans enjoy full legal citizenship, they, nevertheless, face often insurmountable obstacles in accessing and negotiating the market for arguably more valuable forms of citizenship. Contrasting the position of a range of noncitizens -- from pop stars to migrant workers -- the essay reaffirms the common wisdom that for immigrants, the market for citizenship is an unpredictable and unreliable lottery. Then, recounting the story of Burger King's partial expatriation, it illustrates that corporations participate in a market for citizenship that is flexible and negotiable, not unlike traditional markets. Although, the stories this essay tells and the discourses associated with them are well known, their juxtaposition reveals a new question. What is the lesson taught by these disparate experiences? Describing law as a societal pedagogy, the essay suggests a heuristic through which that question may begin to be explored.
Keywords: Immigration, Corporate Personhood, corporate personality, market, citizenship, Michael Brown, racism, inclusion, statelessness, belonging, civil rights, corporate inversion, expatriation
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