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Über dieses Buch

Cosmopolitanism and the Media explores the diverse implications of today's digital media environments in relation to people's worldviews and social practices. The book presents an empirically grounded account of the relationship between cosmopolitanized lifeworlds and forces of surveillance, control and mobility.



Mapping the Terrain: Boundaries and Bridges


1. Introduction: Cosmopolitan Vision, Mediatization and Social Change

Over the past decade, there has been a noted increase in publications addressing political and legal cosmopolitanisms. There is clearly a need for (and a gap to be filled by) more examples of critically oriented empirical analyses that intervene in the debate and address the prospects of the “cosmopolitan vision” from a media and communication studies point of view. This book is a humble step in that direction. It is dedicated to the exploration of the increasing significance of everyday mediations and altered dynamics of mediatization in relation to the multivalent process of cosmopolitanization. The “cosmopolitan vision”, in itself a contested and open-ended notion, refers to a desired ethical orientation that may (or may not) arise in response to the demands of a society marked by diversified forms of “complex connectivity” (Tomlinson, 1999) or “multiple interconnectivities” (Christensen, 2013b). It is a self-reflexive ethos that opposes the cultural “othering” of people and places, working as a counter-force to the encapsulating tendencies of political nationalism as well as commercial modes of monitoring and exploitation. Cosmopolitanization, together with mediatization, does not bring an end to such tendencies but rather invokes increasingly contradictory spatial, cultural and moral orders (Jansson, 2009a).

Miyase Christensen, André Jansson

2. Cosmopolitan Trajectories: Connectivity, Reflexivity and Symbolic Power

No human being is born cosmopolitan. Still, some individuals are more likely than others to develop the outlooks and skills that we associate with cosmopolitanism. Empirical studies point to the importance of social background (e.g. Phillips and Smith, 2008; Kennedy, 2009; Meuleman and Savage, 2013), suggesting that habitus (Bourdieu, 1980/1990) plays a key role in the conditioning of whether and in what shape the cosmopolitan ethos may evolve. In a Swedish survey, Weibull (2013) found that Swedish citizens who have lived abroad for longer periods are more interested in politics and have more trust in democratic institutions than the population at large. They are also more concerned with environmental issues, less worried about terrorism and support generous immigration policies.

Miyase Christensen, André Jansson

3. Remediated Sociality and the Dual Logic of Surveillance

The institutional and (meta)processual dimensions of surveillance have been scrutinized extensively in literature (e.g. Foucault’s [1975/1979] panopticism; Haggerty and Ericson’s [2000] “surveillant assemblages”, to name but two), with the subjective, individual level often being invoked in relation to subject-object and surveillor-surveilled dualities and in terms of the kinds of subjectivity modern and late-modern institutions and processes engender. The experiential, ontological realm of the “mediatized everyday” vis-à-vis “social control” remains lesser explored, particularly from the phenomenological perspective of the lifeworld. Academic discourses of surveillance mostly address rhetorically oriented macro perspectives. As we discussed in Chapter 1, the same diagnosis largely applies to the debates on and around the cosmopolitanization process.1

Miyase Christensen, André Jansson

Contextualizing Space, Mobility and Belonging


4. Transnational Media Flows: Globalization, Politics and Identity

The global political rhetoric of “us” versus “them” in the aftermath of 9/11 had significant consequences (particularly for Muslim cornmunities), opening up new debates and discursive frames for renegotiating identity, belonging and multiculturalism — to which we return in the final chapter. The role of media and popular communication remains vital in the experiences of cosmopolitanization/inclusion and marginalization/closure in the cultural lifeworlds and everyday realities of migrants in Europe. The discussion in this chapter draws upon our work both on transnational media flows, in general, and cultural lifeworlds, social space and media use in migrant contexts, in particular. We argue that while an integrated understanding of social phenomena (e.g. the roles of globalization, the market and popular media in the current geopolitical context) in relation to institutional and macro dimensions remains vital, their everyday human forms (and accompanying complexities) cannot be fully grasped without accounting for the interpretive and situated dimensions of experience. In this chapter, we try to address both dimensions and reflect upon the surrounding context of racisms and the significance of racialization practices in Sweden.1

Miyase Christensen, André Jansson

5. Transclusion versus Demediation: Mediatization and the Re-embedding of Cosmopolitanism

There is today much evidence that the cosmopolitan ethos is associated with geographical mobility. Both quantitative and qualitative studies have shown that extensive travel, (trans)migration and/or longer stays in foreign places can be taken as predictors of cosmopolitan values (Mau et al., 2008; Pichler, 2008; Kennedy, 2009; Mau, 2010; Jansson, 2011; Weibull, 2013). Mobility as such is of little or no significance, however. What matters are the world opening social and cultural experiences and the associated elaborations of interpretative frames of reference, which corporeal mobility sometimes generates. Such experiences together with other factors are constitutive of self-transformative cosmopolitan trajectories, as we discussed in Chapter 2. At the same time, the cliché association, or conflation, of cosmopolitanism with mobile life paths must be contested. Simply put, many cosmopolitans are not very mobile, as argued in accounts of “rooted cosmopolitanism” (e.g. Cheah and Robbins, 1998) and “vernacular cosmopolitanism” (Nava, 2002), and many mobile groups do not express much of a cosmopolitan ethos, but move either out of practical necessity, for mere individual pleasure, or within and through securitized and segregated “non-place” corridors (Hannerz, 1990; Augé, 1995 Calhoun, 2003a, 2003b; O’Reilly, 2007; Jansson, 2011).

Miyase Christensen, André Jansson

6. Cities, Embodied Expressivity and Morality of Proximity

Studies on cultural citizenship and communicative processes (see Miller, 1998, 2006; Chaney, 2002) have long pointed to the generative power of popular media and other cultural forms (e.g. film, television, sports, museums) in reshaping contemporary social conceptualizations of democracy, citizenship, morality and politics, amongst other notions. It goes without saying that both our actual and mediated social spaces of living and of “being and becoming” (Hall, 1996) remain highly segregated, yet fluid and dynamic, in an era that is characterized by cosmopolitanization of urban centres. The “cosmopolitan urban”, the global city, today embodies the de facto presence of difference through transnational mobility, mediated imagery, connectivity, urban unrest and protests and the voicing of marginalized identities through various acts.

Miyase Christensen, André Jansson

7. Conclusion: Cosmopolitanism and Its Discontents

Any book on cosmopolitanism remains an unfinished project with open-ended future scenarios rather than a complete discussion. One of the primary goals of the book has been to build upon and give flesh and bone to some of the grand narratives and abstract ideals (often backed by mere anecdotal evidence), which have been influential in the cosmopolitan debate. We have approached the cosmopolitan question from the point of the everyday and taken mediation as a key social practice and mediatization as a meta-process. While accounting for and building upon the roots of cosmopolitan theory, in this book we have tried to put forth a framework within which to regard the implications of cosmopolitanism and cosmopolitanization for contemporary media and communication studies. In this connection, we advocated a turn to communication as a key concept for joining the epistemological discourses of cosmopolitanism and media studies. We explicated and analysed how different kinds of communicative and socialization patterns, social meaning construction and identity formation processes are embodied through mediated practice in certain contexts. We have thus illuminated how mediatization is differently nuanced in different social contexts rather than containing any uniform “media logic”.

Miyase Christensen, André Jansson


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