Discussing citizenship and social inclusion through the lenses of emotions and care practices
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractThe workshop addresses fundamental political, cultural and sociological implications of the current international refugee crisis in terms of social inclusion, citizenship and social change. Several scholars (Castles, 2014; Dauvergne and Marsden, 2014; James, 2014; McNevin, 2006; Shachar, 2014; Stychin, 2001) highlight the multiple challenges involved in the attempt to overcome current limited uses of the language of citizenship. Among the numerous issues concerning the necessity to provide different social actors with fair and adequate responses, James (2014) emphasises the issue of the social and ethical framing of the problem, which requires going beyond unilateral, inflexible and value-neutral definitions of entitlement to rights. More specifically, the author suggests the necessity to ground the ethics of rights to an ethics of care through which fundamental questions of difference/identity, inclusion/exclusion, and mobility/belonging are negotiated (James, 2014). This involves the necessity to shift the focus upon the micro level of analysis and to look at the spaces where the situated actions and interactions occur, at the ways, in other words, in which people constantly construct and reconstruct their sense of entitlement and belonging. Citizenship and social inclusion (macro level) will be associated in this workshop to the ‘sentiments’ and the ‘practices’ of family care (micro level). The term ‘world families’ (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 2014) includes a heterogeneous and tension-filled set of social actors who share in common the potentiality to bridge traditional distinctions between public and private, centre and periphery, national and international, bypassing dichotomous ideas of inclusion/exclusion which typically characterise the concept of citizenship. This concept resonates with the notion of ‘cultural rights’ described by Pakulski (1997) in terms of a new set of claims including the right to symbolic presence and visibility vs. marginalisation; the right to dignifying representation vs. stigmatisation; and the right to affirmation and propagation of identity vs. assimilation. ‘Global citizens’ and ‘global families’ are the terms I use in this context to indicate refugees, asylum seekers and other unequally entitled citizens. From the theoretical point of view, the approach here illustrated draws on those aspects of the sociology of emotions that explain inequality in terms of emotion-based processes which occur at the level of micro-situated interactions (Barbalet, 2001; Collins, 1990, 1993, 2004; Gordon, 1990; Hammond, 1990; Hochschild, 1995; Katz, 1999; Kemper, 1990; Scheff, 1990; Smith-Lovin, 1993; von Scheve & von Luede, 2005). The idea is intersecting care, emotion and citizenship and analysing their role to understand social inclusion and social change. More specifically, the workshop will be based on Collins’ theory of Interaction Ritual Chains (2004), according to which the fundamental mechanisms defining the individuals’ positions (/statuses) in society possess an emotional nature rather than a merely economic, cultural, social or political one.
CitationPratesi, A. Discussing citizenship and social inclusion through the lenses of emotions and care practices, University of Milan (Italy) Department of Political Economic and Social Science. Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy), 16th February 2016.
DescriptionThe workshop discusses fundamental political, cultural and sociological implications of the current international refugee crisis in terms of social inclusion, citizenship and social change. The following research questions will be discussed during the workshop: 1. What does current EU refugees’ crisis mean and imply in terms of social change, social inequality and citizenship? 2. How might the concept of citizenship be reframed within the context our increasingly complex, diverse, global, immigrant democracies, in which the issues of membership and entitlement have become multifaceted? 3. What can we learn from the experience of global citizens and global families when we analyse and interpret them in light of some of the most relevant advances in the sociology of emotion which tend to explain inequality and social inclusion/exclusion in terms of emotion-based processes that occur at the level of micro-situated interactions? 4. What is the relationship between the sentiments and practices of ‘care’ (micro-level), and their broader implications in terms of status inclusion/exclusion, membership and citizenship at a macro-level of analysis? 5. How can we apply the vast potential of citizenship discourse surrounding global citizens and families and their ability to overcome a mere binary logic of inclusion/exclusion to other contexts and other social groups such as national, religious, racial or ethnic minorities?
SponsorsThe event is fully funded by the Department of Political Economic and Social Science of the University of Milan (Italy), which will cover my travel and accommodation expenses (500 Euros).
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