It is a fundamental ideal of liberal democracy that all citizens should enjoy fully equal citizenship. Yet many minorities are still routinely ignored, excluded, patronized, and not regarded as full members of the political community. This denial of equal standing undermines their equal citizenship. Liberalism and Cultural Pluralism each advocate strategies to improve this situation. Their arguments build upon expectations about how citizens should, can, and do understand membership in the political community. Our survey and focus group data from six matched communities in the United States and Great Britain show how citizens’ understandings of membership in the political community incorporate communitarian attitudes that impede the liberal and cultural pluralist projects.