Recent research (e.g. Barnes, Auburn & Lee, 2004) suggests that citizenship opportunities and resources may be afforded or denied to individuals according to their group memberships. We consider how the generic processes of intergroup differentiation by which groups are socially devalued and excluded can reflect divergent conceptualizations of citizenship among different groups. As part of a wider investigation of social exclusion, a combination of methods was used to investigate the relative intergroup perceptions of residents from more and less affluent areas in Limerick city, Ireland. Participants (n = 214) completed the implicit association test and rated a fictional character on a series of citizenship-relevant dimensions. All participants displayed negative implicit associations with designated disadvantaged areas in Limerick. The results of the explicit prejudice assessment illustrated that these negative associations are matched by a lower overall attribution of positive characteristics to residents from these areas relative to residents from a more affluent area. On examination of each group's relative rating of traits, residents from less affluent areas appear doubly disadvantaged as they are devalued in terms of both outgroup and ingroup understandings of citizenship attributes. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.