This title offers an illuminating and dynamic account of an often confusing and widespread concept. Bringing together both historical and contemporary approaches to cosmopolitanism, as well as recognizing its multidimensional nature, Skrbis and Woodward manage to show the very essence of cosmopolitanism as a theoretical idea and cultural practice.

Through an exploration of various social fields, such as media, identity and ethics, the book analyses the limits and possibilities of the cosmopolitan turn and explores the different contexts cosmopolitanism theory has been, and still is, applied to.

Critical, diverse and engaging, the book successfully answers questions such as: How can we understand cosmopolitanism?; What is the relationship between cosmopolitanism and ethics?; What is the relationship between cosmopolitanism and identity?; How do cosmopolitan networks come into being?; How do we apply cosmopolitanism theory to contemporary, digital and mediated societies?

This accessible, comprehensive and authoritative title is a must for anyone interested in cultural consumption, contemporary citizenship and identity construction. It will be especially useful for students and scholars within the fields of social theory, ethics, identity politics, cultural diversity and globalisation.

Introduction

Introduction

A spectre is haunting the imagination of social scientists – the spectre of cosmopolitanism. Books and articles on the topic of cosmopolitanism abound and with this word reinserted into our vocabulary it feels as if the horizons of social imagination have shifted. No secret incantations are needed; the idea of cosmopolitanism appears to soothe the cravings for a better world, a world in which difference is a bridge rather than a gaping gorge, a choice rather than fate, and a hope to be embraced rather than a future to be feared. It signifies a world predicated on the principle of openness rather than closure, hospitality rather than hostility, and convivial cross-fertilisation where a Hobbesian bellum omnium contra omnes previously reigned supreme.

Instinctively, it feels good ...

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