How is the individual socialized today, in Rome, Bombay, Lagos or Tokyo? Ours is a globalized world, a world in which a young person in Burkina Faso can identify with interstellar Star Wars heroes, a world in which a New York trader drinks the same Starbucks coffee as his counterpart in Taiwan. How is human experience shaped in a world such as this?
Conceived from a Western perspective, in reference to the nation-state, the concepts of classical sociology are no longer able to address the paradoxes of the contemporary world. Humanity now shares an ever increasing number of imaginaries and cultural products, whilst glorifying diversity more than ever. Societies are constantly in contact with otherness through international flows, whilst remaining ever tempted by xenophobia and the retreat into nationalism.
This is the contribution of cosmopolitan sociology, such as it is presented in this book, in a vision that is no more enchanted or utopian than it is elitist or ideological. This book draws on and discusses an abundant international literature on cosmopolitanism, often not well known to Francophone readers. It develops an original conceptual framework to understand individuals' daily experiences of this world that is intrinsically plural and shared.
Vincenzo Cicchelli is a lecturer at the University Panthéon-Paris Descartes, and a researcher with Gemass (University Paris Sorbonne/CNRS). He has notably published L'Esprit cosmopolite. Voyages de formation des jeunes en Europe (Presses de Sciences Po, 2012). He edits the collection "Youth in a Globalizing world" (Brill).