This article applies a citizenship lens to a narrative of personal and familial trauma, refugee flight, immigration, psychosis, and, over time, the building of a life and rebuilding of sense of self. Rowe’s citizenship model offers a useful framework for considering the familial, social, governmental, and societal conditions that shape people’s lives and minds. It supports the thesis that substantial possession of the 5 Rs of Citizenship (rights, responsibilities, roles, resources, and relationships), plus a sense of belonging (Rowe, 2015) in at least a few of the systems we occupy— familial, social, educational, vocational, civic, and faith— are essential to a person’s ability to establish or maintain a full and productive life within society. Although the article largely reflects a single, personal narrative, it touches upon current research and practice to support its thesis that citizenship as a social and existential construct is multifaceted, requiring an understanding of the impact that legal, material, relational/contextual, and perceptual factors have upon a person’s ability to live, and thereby build, a life.


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pp. 114-123
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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