My children, myself: speaking for young citizens abroad

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Early activism by groups representing American citizens living abroad was motivated by parents' concerns about the citizenship status of children born outside the United States. In this essay I discuss a 1971-2 letter-writing campaign which involved American parents speaking on behalf of the rights of their minor children in a way that facilitated a simultaneous looking forward into the child's future, and looking backward to the parent's origins. Thus parents' representations of the child-citizen positioned them as agents of both nostalgia and futurity within the American family abroad.

Keywords: Americans abroad; United States; children; citizenship; parents

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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