Affective Naturalization: Practices of Citizenship Conferment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In an era of increased mobility, naturalization is crucial for shaping international legal and political identities. It is therefore important to move beyond the legal definition of naturalization in order to comprehend its affective and social meaning. This article develops the notion “affective naturalization” by combining the literature of affect and politics with insights from economic anthropology and by focusing on the varied practices of citizenship conferment. Through different modes of naturalization, citizenship can be offered as a gift, it can take the form of a birthright, it may be obtained as a prize that one has achieved, and it can occasionally be bought. The specific practice of conferment changes the identity of the citizenship/“thing” that is being acquired, the roles of the giver and the receiver as well as the interrelation between them. The different practices of conferment thus reflect as well as constitute social relations in differing ways.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Anthropology
  • Ethnology


  • affect, citizenship, economic anthropology, migration, naturalization
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019
Publication categoryResearch