Investigating the idea of cosmopolitan openness: strategies, repertoires and practices

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Title Investigating the idea of cosmopolitan openness: strategies, repertoires and practices
Author Skrbis, Zlatko; Woodward, Ian Stuart
Publication Title TASA 2005 Conference Proceedings
Editor Julian, R., Rottier, R., and White, R.
Year Published 2005
Place of publication Hobart, Tasmania
Publisher TASA (The Australian Sociological Association)
Abstract This paper forms a part of a larger project on people's attitudes towards globalisation which combines qualitative and quantitative data. The qualitative data was collected through focus groups, whereas the quantitative component builds on data available through set of questions on attitudes towards globalisation which were included into the recent Australian Election Study survey (Bean et al. 2004). This paper reports on the qualitative data. Despite diverse understandings of cosmopolitanism, most authors agree that cosmopolitans espouse a broadly defined disposition of 'openness' toward others, displayed in cultural, political or aesthetic domains. It is argued that such an attitude is expressed by an emotional and ethical commitment towards universalism, selflessness, wordliness and communitarianism. In this paper, we explore cosmopolitan dispositions through discussions with the participants of nine focus groups in Brisbane. The focus groups were organised around socio-economic, demographic and cultural characteristics of the participants. While the primary intention of the research was to explore people's attitudes towards globalisation, some dimensions of the study lent themselves directly to debates on cosmopolitanism. The participants saw themselves as conscious beneficiaries of an increasingly interconnected world and its economic and cultural prospects. They generally expressed cosmopolitan sentiments by referring to easily accepted opportunities associated with globalisation (eg. travel, foods, music) rather than the more difficult aspects of openness such as showing hospitality to strangers, or accepting human interest ahead of perceived national interests. This view was clearly counterbalanced, however, by sentiments of fear of 'dilution of culture' and 'culture loss'.
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Copyright Statement Copyright remains with the authors 2005. For information about this conference please refer to TASA website or contact the authors. The attached file is reproduced here with permission of the copyright owners for your personal use only. No further distribution permitted.
ISBN 0959846050
Conference name TASA 2005 Conference
Location University of Tasmania, Hobart
Date From 2005-12-05
Date To 2005-12-08
Date Accessioned 2006-03-16
Language en_AU
Research Centre Griffith Centre for Cultural Research
Faculty Faculty of Arts
Subject Social Change
Publication Type Conference Publications (Full Written Paper - Refereed)
Publication Type Code e1

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