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Accepted Paper:

Globalising relational idioms and the trials of inequality: Friendships in touristic Cuba  
Valerio Simoni (Geneva Graduate Institute)

Paper long abstract:

This paper considers how in the context of touristic encounters in Cuba the relational idioms of friendship are brought about and challenged by ubiquitous manifestations of inequality. On the one hand, tourists and Cubans strive to frame their relationships as friendship, relying both on verbal declarations and on pragmatic reassurances. On the other hand, their enactments of friendship are repeatedly challenged by indications of inequality. These continuous trials prompt people to re-qualify their relationships, and in turn generate various ways of silencing, composing with, or highlighting asymmetries. Moving from the particular to the universal, tourists and Cubans reposition their relationships in wider contexts by mobilizing political economic and socio-cultural rationales as explanatory devices. What emerges are different 'globalist' approaches to these relationships that bring into effect notions of homo economicus, of converging cultures of sociality and their universal features, and of the wider geopolitical context of inequality that informs them.

Panel W035
Joining phenomenologies and political economies of 'the Global'
  Session 1