Citizenship Unit 1

'Being British'

Main Categories of British Citizenship

  • British Citizen - Most common. Automatic full citizenship rights. Right to live, work and vote
  • British Overseas Territories Citizenship - eg. Gibralter have full citizenship rights
  • People in former colony countries - Before 1960s most eg. from India were given right to adopt British Citizenship. During 1980s controls were tightened
  • Dual Citizenship - People that leave Britain can still maintain their British Citizenship
  • British Citizens and Citizenship of the EU - Uk = one of 27 members of the EU. Citizens have right to travel, work, live, vote, stand for election and be protected by law anywhere in the EU

Becoming a British Citizen

  • Born in Uk = born, parents married and at least 1 parent = British Citizen. Adoption = Child adopted by British Citizen
  • Descent = Child born outside UK but their parent becomes British Citizen
  • Registration = Can qualify at 10 years old if not spent 90 days a year outside UK
  • Naturalisation = 5year in Britain. Understand English. Lang and Knowledge test etc.
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Factors That Influece Identity

Factors That Influence Identity

  • Social Class - Improved salary, working hours, life chances, education
  • Regionality - Where they live in UK. Impact on culture, Employment areas eg, Mining in Wales
  • Ethnicity - Race and Citizenship. Heritage and common community eg. Black British.
  • Religion - A person's faith. Impact on people's values and norms
  • Age - age groups have distinct cultures
  • Gender - Must fundamental influence on person's identity perhaps?
  • Nationality - Common features and behaviours. However some have dual nationality?
  • Employment - Groups have a common vested (financial) interest and similar values
  • Education - State school or private school or faith school may impact norms, values and culture. University education may also be a factor
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Why do people migrate?

Push and Pull Factors


  • Famine
  • War
  • Natural Disasters
  • Persecution or Oppression


  • Employment
  • Living Conditions
  • Study
  • Emotional Factors
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Trends and Patterns in UK Migration

  • Second World War - dramatic effect on migration. Those who helped in war effort offered British Citizenship
  • After 2nd world war, Britain needed to add to its workforce so actively recruited workers
  • In recent years = shortage of people with experience skills to work for NHS so government filled posts with people outside the UK
  • Others are... Decleration of Indian independance in 1947 = moved to Britain
  • Expulsion of Gujarati from Uganda in 1965 meant many sought refuge in UK
  • EU expansion in 2004 = easier movement around EU
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Stereotyping - Models of Media Influence

Marxist Manipulative model - Used as a way of controlling workers. Spreading suspicion about minority groups who might threaten power of wealthy in society. Criticism - Model assumes we believe what the media says. All sorts of views can now we expressed with New Media

Cultural Dominance model - Mass media is industry made up of narrow range identities leading to narrow range opinion. Bias opinion reflect this. Dominated by white middle class males educated to degree level. Critcism - Women and those from cultural backgrounds are now increasingly represented in higher education and the media.

Pluralist model - Mass media is reflection of the media we wish to consume and we dont watch/read any content we dont want to. Content only exists because the public demand it. If they public disagree the media would stop using it and find alternative. Stereotyping is therefore merely a reflection of existing stereotyping in society. Criticism - Assumes the norm for the public to source info or entertainment from a wide range of sources with wide range of owners thus minimising the risk of bias.

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Different Types of Discrimination

Positive Discrimination

  • Where individual or group is treated differently with intention to improve their situation eg. disable parking spaces

Negative Discrimination

  • People acting on their predjudice to treat someone unfairly, outcome is likely to cause harm or restrict and individual/group

Direct Discrimination

  • Deliberate and obvious. E.g mocking someone because they have a disability

Indirect Discrimination

  • May not be deliberate but may lead to a person being treated differently eg. failing to install disabled access in school
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Forms of Prejudice and Discrimination

Predjudice Forms

  • Sexism
  • Racism
  • Homophobia
  • Islamophobia

Discrimination Forms

  • Bullying - Harrasment, Intimidation and sometimes physcial abuse
  • Antilocution - Verbal remarks made against a person not addressed directly to them. Allows predjudice to fester. Creates an environment where discrimination is acceptable
  • Physical Abuse
  • Genocide - Intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. eg. Holocaust
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The Relationship between life chances and other fa

Gender - Life expectancy for women = higher. Average salary for women is still lower than man, with women often restricted to part time and lower paid jobs because of childcare

Social Class - Children of parents in higher social class more likely to end up higher themselves

Age - Average life expectancy increasing. Elderly more reliant on government. Often get overlooked for employment. More likely to need health care services

Disability - Less likely to be in full-time education, employment or training. They earn less

Sexuality - Gay face barriers due to discrimination. In schools for example it can limit life chances

Ethnicity - In some ways minority ethnic groups can be disadvantaged financially because of migration

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Social Class

  • 1 - Higher managerial and professional occupations. eg. managing directors, barristers
  • 2. - Lower managerial eg. police officers and nurses
  • 3. - Intermediate occupations eg. secretaries and driving instructors
  • 4. - Small employers - Builders and taxi drivers
  • 5. - Lower supervisory - Butchers and bus drivers
  • 6. - Semi routine occupations - Postal workers and shop assistants
  • 7. - Routine occupations - Refuse collectors and call centre operators
  • 8. - Never worked/ long-term unemployed 
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Causes and Consequences of Poverty

Structural Model - Causes of poverty = result of society's reluctance to resolve the problem. If wealthy paid more taxes this would help more. Getting out of poverty can be difficult in some areas.

Individual Behaviour Model - Where a person lives does not affect levels of poverty. Individuals themselves are the cause. Failure to adopt right attitudes in able to avoid poverty. Culture over the years has bred a cycle of poverty.

Consequences of Poverty

  • Poor, dampp, overcrowded housing
  • Lack of security
  • Poor health
  • Poor diet
  • Disease caused by poor housing eg. asthma
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Legislation relating to equal opportunities

Equal Pay Act 1970 - Prohibits less favourable treatment of either sex in terms of pay and conditions of employment.

Sex Discrimination Act 1975 - Protects men and women from discrimination on the grounds of their sex or because they are married.

Race Relations Act 1976 - Created to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race.

Equality Act 2006 - Deals with age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, race, religion, sexual orientation.

Equality Act 2010 - Effectively merged all into one act.

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How effective have anti-discrimination policies be


  • If anyone breaches legislation they can be prosecuted. Compensation can be sought
  • Now substantial case studies to be used to identify examples of discrimination
  • Good guidance exists to give examples of how legislation should be applied
  • Send a clear message to public authorities
  • Over time existing legislation changes attitudes and in turn impacts cultural norms


  • Establishing whether discrimination has occured is often open to interpretation
  • Indirect discrim. often occurs without realisation
  • Challenging it can be daunting
  • Employers may be careful to hide their discrimination
  • It can be difficult to challenge predjudic regardless of legislation
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Different Views of Rights and Duties

  • Relative Duties - Ones that have a corresponding right
  • Absolute Duties - Duties that do not have a corresponding right
  • Claim Right - A right that infers a corresponding duty to the right eg. Right to free education
  • Liberty Right - A 'freedom' or permission to do something eg. freedom of spech
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Conflicting Rights

  • Case - Mrs Gillick vs West Norfolk Area Health Authority
  • Whose Rights are Conflicting? - Victoria Gillick - The right to be informed. Rights of girls under 16 years = The right to privacy
  • Details - Mother of ten daughters and a strick Roman Catholic with objections to birth control. Concerned GPs would be able to prescribe the contraceptive pill without her knowledge.
  • Outcome - She lost in the High Court but won in the Court of Appeal. Agreed that GPs were correct in their advice.
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The European Convention on Human Rights


  • Treaty made by countries who signed it. agreeing to give their citizens the basic rights contained within it.


  • Treaty signed in 1950 and binding in 1953


  • Recognition of horrors of 2nd WW - as human rights had not been protected eg. Holocaust


  • Created by council of Europe. Now 45 countries have signed it


  • Any citizen of state that has signed ECHR can take their case to EU in Strasbourg
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Rights in the EU

  • Right to life
  • Right to freedom from torture
  • Right to fair trial
  • Right to freedom of thought
  • Right to freedom of expression
  • Right to marry
  • Right to an education
  • Right to participate in elections
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Human Rights Act 1998 and Contemporary Debate

  • Act of Parliament incorporated the ECHR into UK law
  • Came into force on the 2nd October 2000
  • Meant that judges could Apply the convention
  • Created by Tony Blair's Labour Government

Contemporary debate about impact of human rights legislation

  • Abu Qatada - Muslim Refugee in Britain. He had links to Al-Qaeda and was wanted for terrorist charges in Jordan. EU ruled that he could not face trial in Jordan as he would be killed and it was against his human rights to send him there.
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For and Against Human Rights Legislation


  • Rights of UK Citizens have been strengthened by the HRA
  • Avoids conflict between domestic and international law
  • Gives right to all humans equally
  • Wrongdoer can be made to pay compensation
  • Cheaper for a citizen to seek remedy for violation under HRA
  • More convenient and less time-consuming


  • Citizens enjoyed rights in many countries before the ECHR
  • Countries are still allowed to stray from their obligations
  • Gives too much power to judges that must interpret it = conflict between parliament and courts
  • Should not apply to all because some some people in society should be entitled to all of their rights e.g. convicted criminals
  • Not drafted in same way as UK statute, European is drafted in wider terms
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Data Protection Act 1998

  • Aims - Protect info held on an individual. Allow access to a person's info if they request it
  • Implications? - Organisations have responisbility to keep records held safely. Must  allow the public free access to the info. Requests must be in writing and responded to in 40 days
  • Why might you request? - Doctor to check its correct. Credit card company for your credit history. See what an organisation knows about you
  • Exemptions - Not be possible to request information held about another individual as this would be a breach of the DPA
  • Case Study - Hertfordshire council fined £100,000 by info commisioner after employees accidentally sent 2 faxes containing details of child sex abuse case.
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The Freedom of Information Act 2000

  • Aims? - Ensure citizens can ask public authorities if they hold any info on a particular subject
  • Implications - If public body fails to respond to a request then it can be investigated
  • Why and how? - The application must be made to the relevent department in writing. It may cost a fee. The authority may request more info in order to clarify the request. The authority must respond within 20 days
  • Exemptions - The info is too sensitive in terms of national security. The request is unnecessary as the info is already published. The request would cost too many man hours or too much money. Request is vexatious (been made before or waste of time). Info is legally priviledged. Request concerns personal info or commercial confidences
  • Case Study - Figures released as a result of freedom of info requests revealed that at least 944 currently serving police officeers and police community support officers have a criminal record.
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Contemporary Debate about the FOIA


  • More open government and easy access to info
  • Journalists have increasingly used it = more freedom to press
  • Greater transparency on gov. decisions are made
  • Spending is low when compared to other departmental costs


  • Government accused of exploiting exemptions of FOI in order to avoid disclosing info
  • Many individual requests can take uo a large volume of civil servants' time and cost
  • Waste time and money for little public interest
  • Money spent on responding to requests could be better spent on public services
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Welfare Rights

  • Health - NHS provides healthcare that is free. Paid by taxation.
  • Education - Free education to all in UK until 16 (18 in 2015)
  • Housing - State has made provisions to fund housing for UK citizens
  • Disability - An allowance is paid to them by the government
  • Elderly - When they reach 65 - can claim state funded pension. 68 for those born after 1977
  • Unemployment - Can claim unemployment benefit, with certain conditions
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Right to Defend Oneself and Trial By Jury

  • Legal defence can be claimed if a defendant is charged with assault and argues they used reasonable force
  • This defence allows a person to kill another if they do so in the act of defending themselves
  • Tony Martin, a farmer, was convicted of murder after shooting dead one man and injuring another who was burgling his home, as he intended to kill or cause serious harm

Trial By Jury

  • Decide if they accused is guilty or not guilty. Can be used in some civil cases, but this is rare. HRA does not specifically protect the right to trial by jury
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  • Nearly 100,000 in Britain
  • Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority which tries to ensure that the needs of the Solicitor's client are met
  • The law society has a trade association which looks after solicitors' interests
  • Mainly office-based work involving conveyencing, drawing up wills and contracts and giving advice to clients
  • Usually represent their clients in magistrates courts or county courts
  • Work in partnership with other solicitors in firms
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  • Only about 11,500 in Britain
  • Profession is collectively known as 'the bar'. Governing body known as the bar council
  • Must remain self-employed and cannot form partnerships.
  • Usually share offices called 'chambers'
  • Spend most of their time in court and work mainly in high court
  • Usually employ through a solicitor who contatcs the barrister
  • Operate under 'cab rank rule'. Must accept a case if it is an area of their specialism

Similarities and Differences between Barristers and Solicitors

Similarities - Training is broadly similar. Both are practising Lawyers. Both do the same sort of work but in different ways. Both subject to strict professional rules

Differences - Different ways of working, barrister is self emplyed and solicitors work in firms. Solicitors can sue clients to recoup their fees but barristers cannot

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