University of Tasmania
whole_MacKenzieMurdochColin2004_thesis.pdf (13.18 MB)

Nurturing citizens : an inquiry into citizenship and attachment theory

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posted on 2023-05-26, 17:54 authored by MacKenzie, Murdoch Colin
This thesis explores the connections between parenting styles and the concepts of citizenship and attempts to discover whether a secure attachment of the infant to the parent is the foundation for the development of qualities required in a 'good' citizen. I survey the functions of citizenship in a democracy and review the literature to ascertain that a 'good' citizen is marked by the qualities of a sense of belonging, an ability to trust others, responsibility, respect and concern for others, cooperativeness, tolerance and fairness. I then review the research literature dealing with the effects of secure attachment on the developing person to argue that many of the qualities correlated with secure attachment are the same as those previously identified as valuable in a 'good' citizen. Some of the criticisms of this thesis have been anticipated and addressed. These include controversies regarding the contribution of genetic inheritance, of temperament, and of factors other than the parents. I continue my argument by suggesting that an added requirement for 'good' citizenship is a set of moral values that are also learnt within the context of family life and note that there is some evidence to argue that a secure infant more readily incorporates parental values. Finally I suggest possibilities for further research to test this thesis and discuss the effects on social policy, education and clinical work if the thesis is accepted.


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Copyright 2003 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.A.)--University of Tasmania, 2004. Includes bibliographical references

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