The Economy of Citizenship

91 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2007 Last revised: 12 May 2015

See all articles by Michele Goodwin

Michele Goodwin

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: 2003


This article analyzes the economy of citizenship. It explores the legal treatment and social power of hate speech that beomes fixed in our cultural lexicon. Hate speech may be spoken with authority, but do the words also have legal power? Within the law, does hate speech differ from a cross burning? Should it? In this article, I argue that the force of words, like burning crosses (as analyzed by the Rehnquist Supreme Court), has much to do with their power to evoke psychological meanings. This power alone might offer limited room for legal analysis, but might help us to understand profiling, crimes and hoaxes, and sexual politics.

Keywords: Citizenship, Hate Speech, Segregation, Integration, Sexuality

JEL Classification: J100, J7, Z00

Suggested Citation

Goodwin, Michele, The Economy of Citizenship (2003). Temple Law Review, Vol. 76, No. 2, Summer 2003; Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-43. Available at SSRN:

Michele Goodwin (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

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