1st Edition

The Stranger

By Shaun Best Copyright 2019
    178 Pages
    by Routledge

    178 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores the concept of the stranger as a ‘modern’ social form, identifying the differing conceptions of strangerhood presented in the literature since the publication of Georg Simmel’s influential essay ‘The Stranger’, questioning the assumptions around what it means to be regarded as ‘strange’, and identifying the consequences of being labelled a stranger.

    Organised both chronologically and thematically, the book begins with Simmel’s major essays on the stranger and culminates with an analysis of Zygmunt Bauman’s thought on the subject, with each chapter introducing an idea or key theme initially discussed by Simmel before exploring the development of the theme in the work of others, including Schütz, Derrida, and Levinas. The stranger is an enduring concept across many disciplines and is central to contemporary debates about refugees, asylum, the nature of inclusion and exclusion, and the struggle for recognition. As such, this book will be of interest to scholars across the social sciences.

    Introduction: The Practice of Estrangement

    1. The City, Georg Simmel on the Stranger

    2. The Suburbs and The World: Norbert Elias on Incorporation of The Stranger

    3. The Camps and The Stranger: Zygmunt Bauman

    4. The Asylum and The Self: Erving Goffman on The Stigma and The Stranger

    5. The Banlieue: Pierre Bourdieu and The Excluded Urban Poor

    Conclusion: The Stranger in Contemporary Society


    Shaun Best is a senior lecturer in the School of Education and Liberal Arts at the University of Winchester,UK. His teaching is in the field of social inclusion and exclusion, and he publishes regularly in national and international journals. He has a portfolio of innovative publications including Research Methods: Understanding and Doing Successful Social Research and Understanding Social Divisions.