Women, Gender, and the Revocation of Citizenship in the United States

TitleWomen, Gender, and the Revocation of Citizenship in the United States
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHerzog, Ben, and Julia Adams
JournalSocial Currents
Date Published02/2018

Taking away citizenship, as an extreme measure, defines its boundaries by specifying acts that are deemed nationally desirable and undesirable. The history of expatriation in the United States serves as a case study for the interaction between gender and the limits of modern citizenship status. Citizenship laws and mechanisms of revocation in the United States were explicitly patriarchal until 1922; until then, women lost their citizenship on marriage to a foreign citizen. The laws regarding revocation of citizenship have continued to target prototypically masculine behaviors, particularly those bearing on the military defense of the state. Since the 1920s moment, women in the United States exist in a contradictory citizenship regime: paradoxically endowed with relative immunity from certain forms of regulation and punishment as their status as active political individuals remains a site of struggle.

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