Researching migrants’ diverse social relationships: from ethnic to cosmopolitan sociability?

Moroşanu, Laura (2018) Researching migrants’ diverse social relationships: from ethnic to cosmopolitan sociability? Sociological Review, 66 (1). pp. 155-173. ISSN 0038-0261

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This article critically examines ‘everyday’ cosmopolitanist approaches to migrants’ social relationships to call for a more nuanced understanding of how ethnicity may inform cosmopolitan ties and aspirations. Research on migrants’ everyday cosmopolitanism tends to either focus on individuals’ engagement with ethnic difference, or highlight commonalities that unite people across ethnic boundaries, treating ethnicity as a coexisting form of identity or solidarity. This article challenges this divide, proposing a framework for a more systematic examination of how ethnicity may facilitate, fragment or fade in cosmopolitan encounters or aspirations, starting from migrants’ perspective. Using examples from empirical research with Romanians in London, and other studies of everyday cosmopolitanism, the analysis illustrates the multiple ways in which ethnicity may shape the development and management of cosmopolitan ties, beyond the celebration of ethnic difference or recognition of persisting ethnic identities that predominate in extant research. Furthermore, it problematises the notion of ‘rooted’ cosmopolitanism, exposing some of the difficulties to achieve this in practice. Whilst expanding our understanding of ethnicity within cosmopolitan sociability, the article thus calls for further reflection on how different participants imagine and negotiate cosmopolitan ventures, ethnic difference and boundaries, instead of assuming, as often done, that they can simply reconcile them.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Ethnicity, Everyday Cosmopolitanism, Migrant social relationships
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for Migration Research
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Laura Morosanu
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2017 15:36
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2021 10:30

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