Nationalism vs. Cosmopolitanism

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Cosmopolitanism and Locals Versus Nationalism

The continuing phenomenon of globalization has caused scholars to recognize distinctions and ultimately relationships between the global and local in the context of social, political and cultural affairs. “Cosmopolitans and Locals in World Culture” by Ulf Hannerz approaches an understanding of the relationship between cosmopolitanism and locality in the world through the lens of the individual, while Mary Kaldor’s “Cosmopolitanism Versus Nationalism: The New Divide?” addresses the conflict between the application of cosmopolitanism in the political arena and notions of new nationalism. Together these articles suggest the seemingly oppositional forces of global and local are interdependent and recognize the declining influence of the nation-state and territorial boundaries as means for identity. Hannerz asserts cosmopolitanism as a perspective or approach to grappling with meaning, and addresses the views assumed by cosmopolitan individuals. Cosmopolitans seek to engage and participate with other cultures, for “the perspective of the cosmopolitan must entail relationships to a plurality of cultures understood as distinctive entities” (Hannerz 239). Hannerz claims cosmopolitanism as an orientation towards diversity, such that the individual experience can be characteristic of several different cultures. In experiencing different cultures, the cosmopolitan seeks contrast not uniformity. This mind-set, as Hannerz suggests, requires a kind of competence in which the individual attains the “personal ability to make one’s way into other cultures, through listening, looking, intuiting and reflecting” (Hannerz 239). This cultural competence is required for integrating oneself into a foreign system of affairs and engaging in a particular culture. In addressing the cosmopolitan’s competence with regard to foreign cultures, Hannerz points out a paradoxical relation between notions of mastery and surrender. While a...
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