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Soc 235Lecture 21

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by

Ron Jacobs

on 2 December 2014

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Transcript of Soc 235Lecture 21

Main points from last lecture
Pinochet case as a good test of how cosmopolitan and national values interact
States reacted in a way in which their concern for cosmopolitan values were also shaped by their interests in the international system of nation-states
Enforcement of human rights abuses did not occur in a global court, but rather through different national legal courts, and limited by those frameworks
The assertion of cosmopolitan values was balanced/countered by a variety of counter-claims
Fake cosmopolitanism
Defensive nationalism
Main topics for today
What if cosmopolitanism is a new justification
for global privilege?
What if cosmopolitanism is a new
form of moral distancing?
Why is cosmopolitanism unable to deal
with the problem of refugees?
Bauman and moral distancing
Central insight: society as a distancing machine
The moral condition: being for the
other without conditions
A difficult and anxiety-producing condition
Following rules, norms allows us to place people and situations into categories, which allows them to distance themselves from the moral condition
Social spacing is another way to produce moral distance
Forms of segregation
Mediated experience of suffering and injustice
vs.
Cosmopolitanism and the new global elite
For the most part, the transnational connections and global movement privileged by cosmopolitanism are limited to a privileged population
Movement through global spaces takes place
in “islands of cosmopolitan sameness”
Airport business lounges,
global hotels, global restaurants
At home, great care is taken to create
a “community-free zone”
gated communities, doorman buildings
Cosmopolitanism as a form of moral distancing
The shallow and flexible transnational connections are preferred over the messy, unpredictable encounters at home
The assertion of cosmopolitan values comes with an attitude of condescension toward those who insist on living more locally
Fuels the dynamic of power and counter-power
Mediated images of distant suffering are privileged over the more local suffering taking place at home
Mediated images of distant suffering encourage an identification of a perpetrator rather than an identification with the victim
Mediated images of distant suffering
produce a form of “compassion fatigue
Cosmopolitanism, defensive nationalism,
and the problem of refugees
The other major transnational actors today are refugees
refugee camp, Chad
Singita resort, South Africa
Global elite: guarded entry, freedom of exit
Refugees: guarded exit, freedom of entry
International civil society organizations display an interest in the problem of refugees, but lack the power to find a permanent home for them
Nation-states, forced by cosmopolitan globalization into a stance of defensive nationalism, are unwilling to accept refugees
Office Hours next week
Monday, December 10, 4:30-5:30 PM
Friday, December 14, 11-11:30 am, 1-2:30 PM
Full transcript