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This reappraisal began with scholars writing about the Maoist period in relation to other periods in Chinese literature, and then transitioned into books with a sole focus on the Maoist period. Whereas these studies often found meaning in Chinese communist literature by pointing to the native or the local in communist literary production, Nicolai Volland, in his excellent new study of the s entitled Socialist Cosmopolitanism: The Chinese Literary Universe, , uses the framework of world literature to show that Chinese socialist literature was part of the transnational creation of global socialist culture.
Both concepts allow him to connect the s to other moments in the Chinese twentieth century by looking outward instead, as others have done, of looking to other aspects of Chinese literary tradition. First, Volland discusses exchanges between people by examining cultural diplomacy in the s. He next discusses the translation of socialist realist practice in Asia by looking at how Asian authors used Soviet models to create their own land reform novels and industrial fiction.
Finally, he turns to the exchange of texts and the creation of world literature on the pages of Yiwen , an important journal devoted to the translation of foreign literature, later renamed World Literature. By focusing on the travels of one author, Volland narrates an engaging story while also illuminating an important change in the cultural landscape of the s. He argues that situating land reform novels in a transcultural perspective challenges the accepted ideas of canonical Chinese socialist literature by defining socialist literature not simply along national borders but rather in terms of a socialist cosmopolitanism that opens up the understanding of ideas such as land reform when read alongside Soviet counterparts.
Again, reference to Soviet industrial fiction illuminates the project in China, expanding our understanding. In these two chapters Volland discusses at length the process of translation and introduction to the Chinese reading public of two bodies of literature popular in the Soviet Union. In rich detail he argues that translations of Soviet science fiction provided China with models to envision the future, and he finishes the chapter by arguing that imported popular fiction such as Soviet science fiction made up for the loss of popular literature such as detective novels, romantic fiction, and martial arts novels that ceased to be published after He argues that there are four concentric circles or zones created in the literary map of Yiwen : the Soviet Union is the centre, followed by the socialist nations of Eastern Europe and East Asia; coming after this we see third world countries, and finally the capitalist countries of Europe and the United States.
This chapter is a fascinating rebuttal to theories of world literature that privilege European Modernist writing as world literature, and shows how China redefines this map and also the complex process of situating China on the map. In the introduction he applauds the effort of scholars in both China and the US who have been rethinking the literature of the s, but he argues that they we have had an inward focus that Socialist Cosmopolitanism corrects. This approach is an important and welcome challenge to any concept of world literature that would ignore the socialist bloc.
One wonders, however, if the focus on Soviet-led cosmopolitism at times impedes our understanding of what was happening on the ground in China. By adopting European dress and manners, Ferguson argues, African consumers were not imitating their white colonizers or appropriating these goods into indigenous meaning structures. This longing for equal membership in the global community is evident, as well, in the consumption practices of other non-western groups.
For example, in his description of a second-hand marketplace in Tonga, Besnier describes how Tongans use consumption practices to articulate a modern and cosmopolitan self. In the act of buying and selling objects sent by their diasporic relatives, Tongans demonstrate membership in global modernity through their access to western commodities, knowledge of western culture, fluency in English, and above all, participation in the cornerstone of modernity: consumer culture.
Fadzillah tells a similar story about rural teenage girls in northern Thailand who sell beauty products for multinational corporations like Amway and Avon. In India, the influx of international brands has made global lifestyles available to urban middle-class women who negotiate ideals of Indian femininity within a context of global media and flows and international measure of beauty.
At the same time, however, these strategies of propelling oneself into a putatively inclusive cosmopolitan world community often rely on practices of distinction and exclusion based on familiar hierarchies of race, class and gender. Cosmopolitan consumption is as much a marker of exclusion, then, as it is a means of transcending hierarchies of difference.
Despite the aspirations toward cosmopolitan inclusion described above, a more familiar critical reading of cosmopolitanism depicts it as an exclusive class position reserved for a mobile, bourgeois elite with expensive tastes and jet-set lifestyles Featherstone , Vertovec and Cohen , Calhoun In this sense, tastes, preferences and cultural competencies involved in cosmopolitan consumption operate as markers of distinction rather than inclusion Bourdieu This is especially evident in cosmopolitan orientations toward food and fashion. In another sense, however, the knowledgeable consumption of exotic foods constitutes a strategy of exclusion that distinguishes the cosmopolitan elite from the parochial masses.
Hage also observes that the white diners in this Sydney suburb consume not just foreign foods, but the cultural diversity that food represents.
Female consumption, in other words, was seen as an inferior form of participation in an emerging global modernity. If the consumption practices of these white, middle-class, urban women were deemed insufficient markers of membership in global society, then where does that leave the claims to cosmopolitanism asserted by the Chinese, Tongan, Thai, Indian or African consumers described earlier? How is their participation in global consumer culture kept in its place, so to speak? As these studies reveal, cosmopolitan consumption tends to reproduce social divisions rather than providing equal membership in a global community.
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This engenders a deep skepticism about the limited potential of consumption as a strategy for practicing global citizenship. A third key debate revolves around the links between cosmopolitan consumption and political claims of global citizenship. On the one hand, critics identify certain forms of cosmopolitan consumption as little more than an aesthetic appreciation or recognition of cultural difference that remains on the surface, so to speak Beck , Chaney , Regev In this case, cosmopolitanism entails a primarily stylistic engagement with cultural difference, concerned more with what looks, tastes or feels interesting than with the political or economic conditions of production and consumption.
Consumers see their actions in the marketplace as deeply intertwined with democratic ideals, with the material and political welfare of others across the world, and with the well-being of the global environment. According to Urry , globalization has extended the rights, responsibilities and risks that constitute citizenship beyond the confines of the nation-state, implicating individuals in universal and de-territorialized modes of membership. He notes that the rights, responsibilities and risks that constitute this liberal model of global citizenship involve both aesthetic elements such as the rights to travel internationally, to consume other places, and to access global media; or the responsibility to respond to images that address people as differentiated citizens of the globe , but also ethical and political elements such as a responsibility to be informed about the state of the globe or to act on behalf of the globe as a whole rather than in terms of shared identity interests; or the right to form social movements with citizens of other states to protest state or corporate powers.
The question is: can cosmopolitan consumption be both? For these critics, cosmopolitan commodities and lifestyles skim the surface of cultural difference, providing few channels for political agency or incentives for fostering genuine cross-cultural encounters. Calhoun agrees that consumption practices have limited purchase in the realm of global citizenship.
Furthermore, the deeper cosmopolitanism burrows into capitalism, the more likely it is to reproduce rather than transcend deep and systemic inequalities. This attenuation of the political potential of consumption may stem from the fact that consumers often purchase clothing or electronic goods with no sense of where they were manufactured. They are unwittingly implicated in global trade circuits that link them to the wider world Beck , , Timmerman Indeed, because the capitalist logic through which cultural difference is commodified relies on a material and emotional distancing, consumers are able to ignore or disavow unpalatable differences when they make their purchases.
In this formulation, there seems to be little hope for achieving global political agency through consumption. Other scholars are far more optimistic about the potential relationship between culture, consumption and citizenship. Here elements from many different countries and cultures are continually compared, rejected, combined and remixed. Thought through to its conclusion, there arises a whole network of everyday practices and skills to deal with a high degree of interdependence and globality.
According to Urry, participating in cosmopolitan consumer culture through international travel or exposure to global media images is far more connected to citizenship and citizen rights than skeptics acknowledge. He argues that the rights to travel and to consume other cultures and places are, themselves, markers of citizenship.
Stevenson similarly argues that consumption is precisely a political site where cosmopolitan citizenship might be enacted. In this sense, consumer society has the potential to become an arena for political action and cosmopolitan solidarity. This debate has coalesced to a significant degree around the Product RED brand campaign see Himmelmani and Mupotsa Cosmopolitan shoppers can thus buy into a cause without disrupting their own values and daily habits, without questioning their deeply held assumptions about the relationship between Africa and the west, and without committing to riskier forms of political activism.
Moves toward ethical or compassionate consumption underscore the fact that consumption is always political, but as the critiques described above suggest, they provide no easy answers about how a cosmopolitan consciousness should be mobilized into just, sustainable and ethical modes of engagement with other people. Can a viable cosmopolitical agenda for global social justice be attained through consumption?
Or must cosmopolitical aims necessarily be pursued outside of the regime of consumption? These questions will remain central as scholars continue to grapple with the inherent paradoxes of cosmopolitan consumption. Instead, the critical analyses outlined above bring our attention to the political dimensions of cosmopolitan consumption.
In these accounts, consumption is revealed to be implicated not only in the political economy of capitalism, the reiteration of social inequalities, and the simultaneous appropriation and disavowal of difference, but also in claims to membership in global society and in forms of collective action and civic participation.
Cosmopolitanism (a Public Culture book)
(PDF) European public culture and aesthetic cosmopolitanism | MARCO SANTORO - idekineqyxen.ga
Search History. Search history from this session 0. Metrics Views 2. Reflecting on the example of food, Beck : 37 explains: If we are what we eat, none of us is national anymore … We are now all used to finding foodstuffs that used to be separated by continents and cultures freely available side-by-side as mass market commodities.
Cosmopolitanism as Distinction: Inclusion versus Exclusion By consuming a cosmopolitan array of media images, travel experiences, food and fashion, consumers around the world are promised membership in the global community via the marketplace. Ahmed, S.
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