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Session Overview
RN15_01a_P: Citizenship, Social Boudaries and Cosmopoltanism
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Sanna Saksela-Bergholm, University of Helsinki
Location: PC.3.21
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: C, Level: 3.

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Exploring experienced citizenship in Tanzania

Ajali Nguyahambi1, Rehema Kilonzo2, Tiina Kontinen1

1University of Jyväskylä, Finland; 2University of Dodoma, Tanzania

Citizenship is a continuously contested concept in the context of sub-Saharan Africa. For example, the colonial legacy is evident in the location of state borders, architecture of governance structures and ethnic identities. The idea of citizenship gained new currency in the nation-building of postcolonial states, and took novel forms as a result of the introduction of multiparty democracies. Recently, the international development aid has also emphasized strengthening citizenship as an avenue to inclusive development and good governance. As a sociological concept, citizenship tends to capture juridical, political, and cultural practices which define membership of a society. T.H. Marshall’s (1950) definition of citizenship as a status of a full member in a community is a standard reference in the sociological literature. However, conceptualizations that capture processes, take into account different politics of belonging, and scrutinize lived experience of citizenship are increasingly suggested. This paper focuses on exploring lived experiences of citizenship the understanding of which is significant both in conceptualizing the dynamics of African societies and in designing interventions for fostering citizenship. We present tentative results of a Tanzanian case study which is a part of a larger project “Growth into citizenship in civil society encounters” (2015-2019) implemented in collaboration with Finnish, Tanzanian and Ugandan universities. On the basis of qualitative interviews collected in January 2017, we analyze citizenship conceptualizations and experiences from the perspectives of an NGO engaged in supporting active citizenship and its beneficiaries in a rural community.

Going cosmopolitan. The valorization of “the international” in Swedish elite upper secondary education

Mikael Palme

Uppsala University, Sweden

While international schools in some countries represent a highway to elite positions, this is less so in others, where the challenges of globalization to a large extent is at stake within the national education systems (Wagner 2017). This study explores how “the international” is valorized in the sub-field of elite upper-secondary education in the Stockholm region. The positions of elite schools and study programmes in the space of upper-secondary education is mapped out using simple correspondence analysis on information on all individual students’ inherited and acquired capital. Further, by means of a questionnaire addressed to 360 pupils in five selected schools representing polarities in the space, the relations between capital resources, cultural practices and beliefs related to globalization are explored. Finally, the study builds on life history-oriented interviews with 110 pupils from the same schools as well as ethnographic observations from classroom teaching, pupils’ associations and European youth parliament activities. The analysis indicates that the relation that pupils at upper secondary elite schools uphold with “the international” is largely determined by the volume and structure of their inherited and acquired resources in combination with the influence provided by the school they attend, its position in the space, history, institutional assets and strategies. While pupils at the traditional elite “lyçées” in the center of Stockholm confide primarily in the solidness of a nationally defined cultural capital, albeit with strong international components, pupils at the IB-programme and at elite schools with economic orientation more often celebrate the arrival of a global and cosmopolitan culture with weaker national roots in terms of language and history (Weenink 2008, Dugonjic 2014).

Marginal cosmopolitans in the metropolis? Media gratifications of a disregarded press in the outskirts of the city

Christian Lamour

Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research, Luxembourg

Media can play a key role in the development of a cosmopolitan society in the city by proposing a reflexive representation of the cultural diversity in the urban environment. Their contents are also used to shape the routinized interactions of different social worlds more or less opened to that diversity. Over the past 20 years, a free daily press targeting the urban masses on the move from peripheral residential areas to central occupational locations, have been flourishing in the increasing diversified metropolises of Europe. It is commonly thought that the elite and paid media are more important than the popular and commercial one to represent and recognize the added value of the cultural “Other” in the city. However, can the free daily press be the tool of a mass cosmopolitan society coming daily from the outskirts of the city? It is argued that this newspaper can be used by plural readers selecting its content to reproduce their cosmopolitan working environment. Based on a qualitative reception studies of 23 foreign workers reading the free daily L’essentiel in Luxembourg and located in two different professional environments (retailing/academic research), the purpose of the research is to explore the public gratification of a disregarded/marginal segment of journalism in a cosmopolitan Grand-Duchy.

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