Su-Chiu Chen(Center for General Education National Taiwan University of Arts)
Scholars argue that political theory has traditionally assummed men’s life experences as the norm. This bias leads to the deprivation and the domination of other genders. This article explores gender bias in the concept of citizenship, an idea essential to political theory, in order to provide a more gender-inclusive model of citizenship.
Drawing attention to citizenship theory, this article examines the image of the civic subject, which is presumed to define the content of citizenship. Specifically, I aim to uncover the inherent gender bias in the constitution of the civic subject within liberalism and republicanism, and to analyze the practice of citizenship among the disadvantaged gender in Taiwan. This article will reconstruct a Weberian ideal type of the gendered civic subject which incorporates the embodied self, relational self and narrative self. Employing this ideal type of civic subject to review the norm of citizenship facilitates bringing back citizen life for the disadvantaged gender and, as a result, addressing the gender bias. Finally, on the basis of the gendered civic subject, this article presents four themes which accomplish a more gender-inclusive model of citizenship: (1) the dependency of the citizen as the basic condition of citizenship; (2) the exemption of disadvantaged citizens’ bodies from being problematized; (3) the recongnition of the legitimacy of the need of concrete others; and (4) the encouragement of a civic narrative to create a new model and significance for civic participation.
citizenship, civic subject, gender politics, embodied self, relational self, narrative self