‘Bridge and Door’: Social Distance and Patterns of Translation in the ‘World Risk Society’ Cover Image
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‘Bridge and Door’: Social Distance and Patterns of Translation in the ‘World Risk Society’
‘Bridge and Door’: Social Distance and Patterns of Translation in the ‘World Risk Society’

Author(s): Svetla Marinova
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Sociology, Social development, Sociology of Culture, Migration Studies, Globalization
Published by: Институтът по философия и социология при БАН
Keywords: World Risk Society; Cosmopolitization; Cosmopolitan Sociology; Social Distance; Cosmopolitan Empathy

Summary/Abstract: In the article, I aim to argue in support of the socio-scientific potential of Ulrich Beck’s concept of ‘cosmopolitization’ by subjecting it to a differentiated critique. Initially, the concept had a primarily Utopian potential, which is why critics have contended it had become obsolete in the context of the recent migrant crisis and its political consequences. On the contrary, I would argue that, beyond its Utopian potential, the concept has a social-scientific one as well. If detailed and elaborated, ‘cosmopolitization’ can become a useful sociological tool for analysis and diagnostics of current developments. Therefore, in contrast to Beck, who uses the term in an undifferentiated manner, I focus it at a specific level of social life – the level of normative regulations regarding foreigners; I explicate the sociological problem at this level by using Simmel’s metaphors of ‘window’, ‘bridge‘ and ‘door’. In conclusion, I suggest that revising the normative project of ‘cosmopolitization’ could advance the disclosure of the concept’s heuristic potential in a sociological perspective.

  • Issue Year: 51/2019
  • Issue No: Special
  • Page Range: 5-20
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English