cosmopolitanism

a blog on English and cultures in a cosmopolitan world

Cosmopolitical Multiculturalism: A purilingual form of humanism

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This page is a pot-pouri of some manifestations of our main common feature…our celebrated differences and identical human genes.

To be cosmopolitan means simply to belong to this world, to inhabit it fully and admit that some people, luckier than others, should do their utmost to contribute to reducing the gap with their less happy counterparts.

Cosmopolitan means Citizen of One World. But let’s be a bit more specific, starting with

Waldron, Jeremy (1992), ”Minority cultures and the cosmopolitan alternative’, University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, 25 (3), 751-93.

I want to begin with an extended quotation from an essay entitled In Good Faith which Rushdie wrote in 1990 in defense of his execrated book the Satanic verses:
“if the Satanic Verses is anything, it’s a migrant’s eye-view of the world. It is written from the very experience of uprooting, disjuncture and metamorphosis (…) that is the migrant condition, and from which, I believe, can be derived a metaphor for all humanity.

Standing in the center of the novel is a group of characters most of whom are British Muslims, or not particularly religious persons of Muslim background, struggling with just the sort of great problems that have arisen to surround the book, problems of hybridization and ghettoization, of reconciling the old and the new. Those who oppose the novel most vociferously today are of the opinion that intermingling with a different culture will inevitably weaken and ruin their own. I am of the opposite opinion. The Satanic verses celebrate hybridity, impurity, intermingling, the transformation that comes of new and unexpected combinations of human beings, cultures, ideas, politics, movies, songs. It rejoices in mongrelization and fears the absolutism of the Pure. Mélange, hodgepodge, a bit of this and a bit of that is how newness enters the world. It is the great possibility that mass migration gives the world, And I have tried to embrace it.

1. Communitarianism 

Modern liberal theories plays great stress on the importance of a Tonna miss individual leading his life according to chosen plan.

(The term cosmopolitan) is not supposed to indicate that the practitioner of the ethos in question is necessarily a migrant (like Rushdie), A perpetual refugee (like for example, Jean-Jacques Rousseau), or frequent-flyer (like myself). The cosmopolitan may live all his life in one city and maintain the same citizenship through out. But he refuses to think of himself as defined by his location or his ancestry or his citizenship or his language. Though he may live in San Francisco and B of Irish ancestry, he does not take his identity to be compromised when he learns Spanish, East Chinese, with clothes made in Korea, listens to areas by Verdae song by a Maori princess on Japanese equipment, follows Ukrainian politics, and practices Buddhist meditation techniques. He is a creature of modernity, conscious of living in the mixed-up world and having a mixed-up self.
(…)
For the purposes of this article, I want to single out one meaning of the term as worthy of special attention. It is community in the sense of community: A particular people sharing heritage of custom, ritual, and way of life that is in some real or imagined sense immemorial (…)

2. Minority culture as a human right

There is a human yearning or need to belong: I need that is in danger of being miserably frustrated -for example in the case of Knowles American aboriginal groups. This is the neat that’s colors appeal to when they criticize or defend various interpretations of the right of cultural preservation (cf proponents of article 27 of the international covenant on civil and political rights)

3. Thin theory of the Good

A thin theory (…) gives us the bare framework for conceptualizing choice and agency but leaving the specific contents of choices to be filled in by individuals

4. Opposition and authenticity 

(…) we know that the world in which deracinated cosmopolitanism flourishes is is not a safe place for minority communities.

Let me state it provocatively. From a cosmopolitan point of view, immersion in the traditions of a particular community in the modern world is like living in Disneyland and thinking that one’s surroundings epitomize what it is for culture really to exist.

7. Our debt to global community

8. Kymlicka’s View of the social world

We need cultural meanings, but we do not need homogeneous cultural frameworks. We need to understand our choices in the context in which they make sense, but we do not need any single context to structure our choices. To put it crudely, we need culture, but we do not need cultural integrity. Since none of us needs a homogeneous cultural framework or integrity of a particular set of meanings, none of us needs to be immersed in one of the small scale communities which, according to Kymlicka and others, hello moon capable of securing this integrity and homogeneity.

The communitarianism that can sound cozy and attractive in the book by Robert Bellah or Michael Sandel can be blinding, dangerous, and disruptive in the real world, where communities do not come ready packaged and where communal allegiances are as much and shouldn’t hatreds of one’s neighbors as immemorial traditions of culture.

cf. part of the pdf

Since he is quite extensively and rightly quoted, here’s the full reference for Rushdie’s text:

Rushdie, Salman (1982), ‘Imaginary Homelands’, Rushdie, Salman. “Imaginary Homelands.” London Review of Books 4.18 (1982): 18-19. 

The Acadian myth, by Lisa Leblanc

THE PLURILINGUAL AND MULTICULTURAL IBEYI

Between their Yoruba paternal identity and their Latino maternal one, these twins born in Paris celebrate the animist Cuban culture in a refreshing multilingual innovative way


  
  
  
  

COLORFUL FLAGS PROGRAM

In 1996, Renford Reese received his doctoral degree from the University of Southern California’s School of Public Administration. He conducted his doctoral research on ethnic conflict and intergroup relations at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development in Geneva, Switzerland. He received his Master’s degree in public policy from the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies in 1990. He received his Bachelors of Arts degree in political science from Vanderbilt University in 1989. He is the founder/director of the Colorful Flags program and teaches in the political science department at Cal Poly Pomona University.

You can see Dr. Renford Reese’s homepage here.

History

In March 1991 an African-American teenager named Latasha Harlins walked into a South Central Los Angeles convenience store owned by a Korean-American merchant. Shortly after entering, she got into an intense argument with the Korean-American clerk over a bottle of orange juice the clerk thought the teenager was attempting to shoplift. Words were exchanged as the two grabbed for the orange juice bottle. After the scuffle, Harlins attempted to exit the store, but before she could leave, the clerk shot her fatally in the back.

This tragic incident weighed on Renford Reese’s mind for months. There had to be a way, Reese thought, to defuse such situations before they escalated into tragedies. He believed, as others in the community believed, that Latasha Harlins’ death was the climax of growing ethnic tensions between Korean Americans and African Americans in the South Central neighborhood. His resolve was further strengthened the following summer, when South Central erupted in violence following the acquittal of four police officers who beat African America motorist Rodney King. Many of the stores destroyed at the time were owned by Korean Americans.

Reese had just begun a doctoral program in the School of Public Administration at the University of Southern California. He pledged that he would use his studies to find ways to defuse tensions among the diverse groups who live in urban communities. In May of 1993, the second year of his doctoral program, he was selected by the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California as a “Presidential Fellow.” The Leadership Institute was founded by Warren Bennis; James O’Toole and Burt Nanus were the directors. All three of these scholars acted as his personal mentors.

The Presidential Fellowship program allowed select students from the University of Southern California’s 17 graduates and professional schools to participate in an intensive leadership training program. One component of the program required each Fellow to create and lead a community-based program. The creation of the “Colorful Flags Human Relations Module” stemmed from Dr. Reese’s dissatisfaction with the state of race relations in our society, especially in Los Angeles.

Building Cultural Bridges in Schools: The Colorful Flags Model.

You are all invited to an expo by African Swiss artists, just received from Mutombo Kanyana, one of its most active representatives. Exhibition of African artists, plays, celebrations, looks like fun and culture are mixed nice!

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Check Newsweek’s special double issue on the global elite but more specifically Underhill’s interview of Peter Sutherland regarding the Melting of the Melting pot. Despite a danger of closing our doors to inevitable immigration, Sutherland welcomes the new multicultural recognition and pays a tribute to the US: “I imagine that President Obama is the greatest example of immigration success

reference of the front page ©Daphné Romy

 

Le Louchebem 

Me fascine depuis longtemps, mais c’est seulement à présent que je prends le temps pendant une tempête islandaise de rassembler ici quelques notes et site pour peut-être une recherche ultérieure.

Site Persée

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Secrets de bouchers et Largonji actuel des Louchébèm [Article], Françoise Mandelbaum-Reiner Langage et société Year 1991 Volume 56 Issue 1 pp. 21-49 Part of a thematic issue : Langues spéciales, langues secrètes

Larlépem largomuche du louchébem, Françoise Robert L’argenton In Langue française Year 1991 Volume 90 Issue 1 pp. 113-125

Islands fascination 

France: ile d’Yeu, Houatt

Isle of Man

Nova Scotia Islands: Île madame, Lac Brador: Communauté autochtones, Tusket Islands 

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Ireland 

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