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Land of Strangers

ISBN: 9780745652177 | 0745652174
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Polity
Pub. Date: 5/14/2012

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The more social relationships become impersonal and looser, the more we seem to want to return to a world of closer personal ties, and as a means of negotiating diversity and difference. A nostalgia for a time of interpersonal ties and human acknowledgement has grown, in the belief that this will help to overcome contemporary problems such as alienation, disenchantment and xenophobia. This book offers a counter-argument, by looking to habits of living that are not reducible to social ties to explain contemporary malaises of social integration and to offer new suggestions for living in diversity. The book argues for a politics of the stranger rooted in an ethic of care for the world and of dwelling in it as a kind of craft cultivation, so that empathy for all manner of things, including humans and atmospheres slowly radiates outwards to include the stranger as simply there, always present on ground that is seen as shared and only temporarily claimed by so-called privileged insiders. Its chapters on material care, knowledge communities, public spaces, racial aversion, the European public sphere and projections of the future as apocalyptic spell out the current geo- and bio-political sources of stranger aversion, notably towards migrants and minorities in Europe. It is in the labour of cultivating common ground, multiple awarenesses, plural affectivities, and new rituals of hope that Amin finds the elements for a new politics of diversity appropriate for our times. This book will be of interest to students and researchers in the humanities and social sciences keen to see the world as it is and the place of humans within it as the core of a better and caring society.


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