Rescuing the Intimate but Awkward Relationship between Cosmopolitanism and Urban Anthropology

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Silvia Binenti


In light of the all-encompassing force and scale of modern globalisation, in the 1990s cosmopolitanism effortlessly made its way to the forefront of debates in urban anthropology. Yet, with the same ease the term soon raised questions about its usefulness as an analytical framework. The common features between the enterprise of anthropology and cosmopolitanism, however, should make anthropologists particularly wary of eroding or even disqualifying cosmopolitanism as a productive framework for empirical analysis. This is especially relevant as debates on “a cosmopolitan anthropology” and “methodological cosmopolitanism” periodically emerge within the discipline.

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