Massey Lectures 2014

Lecture 3 - Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship

The 2014 CBC Massey Lectures by Adrienne Clarkson


This lecture airs on CBC Radio One on November 12


The injunction to help others as part of one's duty to one's country integrates a sense of place with a sense of self. We have interpreted citizenship as a consensual contract with certain emotive elements, such as a high regard for our natural surroundings, some respect for the institutions of government and the law, and, ideally, a commitment to helping advance the aims of our society in whatever way we are called upon to do so. Citizenship is linked on one hand to the rights of the individual, and on the other to membership and attachment to a community."

Adrienne Clarkson

Citizenship demands that we participate in the act of being a citizen, to have not only rights, but responsibilities too. The beginning of this is the interaction with others, people in our society with a different background, faith, or culture. In accepting the difference, and the equality of others, we engage in the 'cosmopolitan ethic' - an understanding of the relationship between personal beliefs and public engagement. In this way, modern society creates a way for personal development to be shaped through public engagement.


Listen online or purchase lectures on iTunes

Watch Adrienne Clarkson in conversation with Peter Mansbridge on Mansbridge one on one

media clip


Related websites:



To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.