1st Edition

Theories of the Stranger Debates on Cosmopolitanism, Identity and Cross-Cultural Encounters

By Vince Marotta Copyright 2017
    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    In our global, multicultural world, how we understand and relate to those who are different from us has become central to the politics of immigration in western societies. Who we are and how we perceive ourselves is closely associated with those who are different and strange. This book explores the pivotal role played by ‘the stranger’ in social theory, examining the different conceptualisations of the stranger found in the social sciences and shedding light on the ways in which these discourses can contribute to an analysis of cross-cultural interaction and cultural hybridity. Engaging with the work of Simmel, Park and Bauman and arguing for the need for greater theoretical clarity, Theories of the Stranger connects conceptual questions with debates surrounding identity politics, multiculturalism, online ethnicities and cross-cultural dialogue. As such, this rigorous, conceptual re-examination of the stranger will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in social theory and the theoretical foundations of discourses relating to migration, cosmopolitanism, globalisation and multiculturalism.

    1. Introduction

    2. Theories of the Stranger

    3. The Death of the ‘Classical Stranger’?

    4. Georg Simmel, the Stranger and the Sociology of Knowledge

    5. Civilisation, Culture and the ‘Marginal Man’

    6. The Hybrid of Modernity

    7. The Cosmopolitan Stranger: Mark II

    8. The Multicultural Civil Sphere and the Universality of Binary Codes

    9. The Cyborg Stranger and Posthumanism

    10. Conclusion: Intercultural Knowledge and the ‘Professional Stranger’


    Vince Marotta is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Deakin University, Australia and Managing Editor of the Journal of Intercultural Studies (Taylor & Francis). He is co-editor of Intercultural Relations in a Global World (2011, Common Ground Pub) and Muslims in the West and the Challenges of Belonging (2012, MUP Academic).

    'Vince Marotta’s exploration of the idea of the stranger in the social sciences is a tour de force. Its critical insights combine to make an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the multiple ways the term has been and continues to be used, while pointing us in analytically productive directions.' - Peter Kivisto, Augustana College, U.S.A and St. Petersburg State University, Russia

    'Marotta presents a meticulous analysis of concepts of the stranger from Simmel’s classical statement through ideas of the ‘marginal man’ and cosmopolitanism to the emerging debate on the ‘cyborg’ and ‘posthumanism’. This is essential reading for those interested in the history of a key idea in social theory.' - Stephen Castles, University of Sydney, Australia