Reluctant Cosmopolitans
demotic: of or pertaining to the current, ordinary, everyday form of a language; of or
pertaining to the common people.1
l The arguments of this book have revolved around
the problematic framing of otherness. Otherness has been interpreted in its
numerous inflections, including racialization, ethnicization, and gendered
politics of scale, where diasporic contours of a shifting German society
and associated transnational networks provide the relevant and meaning-
ful contexts. I have tried to show how the multiple physical and social
spaces inhabited by Turkish German actors, whether in domestic or public
spheres, suggest an analysis of social relations in Germany. For example,
‘‘world-openness’’ is an oft-heard phrase referring to ideas about how to
arrange culture and politics in an acceptably cosmopolitan fashion. Yet
what sort of cosmopolitism is envisioned? Whom does it include and
exclude? Where do the Turkish Germans fit in this self-consciously defined
world-open, cosmopolitan society?
Echoing discussions of ethnicity in earlier chapters, the question arises:
Whose cosmopolitanism? In addressing the problems related to concepts
of ethnicity, I drew a distinction between folk models and beliefs on the
one hand and social science theories on the other, suggesting that in some
cases the latter had unwittingly appropriated the former. Likewise, when
considering cosmopolitanism, drawing a similar distinction between folk
models and analytic theories is useful, albeit at the risk of destabilizing the
way cosmopolitanism often is understood.≤
Given the specific context of
Germany and the elite capture of the term cosmopolitanism, a revisiting of
alternative definitions and possibilities is in order.≥
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