EASA2018: Staying, Moving, Settling

(P092)
Cosmopolitan enclaves: tensions and paradoxes
Location SO-F307
Date and Start Time 16 Aug, 2018 at 09:00
Sessions 2

Convenors

  • Jeanne Rey (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies) email
  • Matthieu Bolay (University of applied sciences HEP/PH Fribourg) email
  • Yonatan Nissim Gez (The Hebrew University) email

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Short abstract

This panel will discuss the concept of 'cosmopolitan enclaves' in its spatial, economic and social dimensions. In particular, it will address the theoretical and empirical relevance of rearticulating mobility and space for understanding the paradoxes of cosmopolitan enclavement.

Long abstract

This panel will offer theoretical and ethnographic insights into the concept of 'cosmopolitan enclaves'. In particular, it will address the telling tensions and scholarly potential of combining the transnational ideal of cosmopolitanism (e.g. Hannerz, 1990; Vertovec & Cohen, 2002) with the exclusive segregation implied by the concept of spatial, economic or social enclaves (e.g. Portes & Manning, 1985; Ferguson, 2005; Ballif, 2009). It will address the paradoxical localization of these social spaces, and discuss how far certain actors rely on cosmopolitan enclaves as a resource for (im)mobility and territorial claims. The panel will further consider which stances are developed from within these enclaves towards outsiders—so-called non-cosmopolitan locals—and how practices of inclusion and exclusion reinforce enclaves' boundaries.

Possible questions for individual papers include: What practices and representations of geographic mobility support the creation and reproduction of cosmopolitan enclaves? What are the specific attributes of such spaces, what are their underlying territorial claims, and what are their implicit 'admission criteria'? How do they favor (unequal) access to specific resources? How far do these cosmopolitan enclaves participate to (counter)hegemonic narratives? How are enclave boundaries created and maintained?

Through both theoretical inputs and a range of case studies (involving, for example, international schools, transnational social activism, expat communities, multinational companies, expert communities, high end resorts, NGOs, religious communities…), this panel will shed light on how a localized cosmopolitan stance can both reinforce and undermine the formation of enclavement, keeping a keen eye on its political and social implications.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

An italian school? Managing diversity and everyday cosmopolitanisms in the roman primary school Carlo Pisacane

Author: Chiara Cacciotti (Sapienza University of Rome) email
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Short abstract

After being "ethnicized" due to the consistent presence of foreign pupils, the primary school of Rome Carlo Pisacane became a matter of national identity. Nevertheless, the school stuff turned this diversity into an attractive feature and today it is possible to observe it as a cosmopolitan space.

Long abstract

In the Carlo Pisacane primary school, located in the multicultural roman neighborhood of Tor Pignattara, more than the 80 percent of pupils in 2007 were legally foreigners even though the great majority were born in Italy.

Although foreign presence in that territory is a structural feature, Pisacane soon became a political affair at national level and this negative social connotation was in fact transformed into a more general issue of national identity.

Nevertheless, during the following years, Pisacane has been able to move from a ghetto school into something similar to a cosmopolitan enclave: teachers and parents have succeeded in this operation, in fact, by turning diversity into an attractive feature to the point that from 2013 onwards the number of italian pupils has been increased.

In doing my ethnographic fieldwork in 2015, I observed if and how this cultural diversity of the territory was experienced by children, teachers and parents. I therefore propose to rethink to Pisacane as a cosmopolitan space, within which different forms of everyday cosmopolitanisms have the opportunity to grow and develop. In the attempt to eradicate the opposition between being cosmopolitan and being "parochial", the research observes why and how cosmopolitanism can no longer be seen as a phenomenon exclusive to Western elites and globetrotters. Despite some problematic issues, among the children this naturalization of the difference is experienced thanks to the support of teachers and parents, who try to go beyond the national feelings of belonging with the aim of shaping post-national identities.

Cosmopolitan desires and investments in a multinational society: the case of French migrants in Abu Dhabi

Author: Claire Cosquer (Sciences Po) email
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Short abstract

This presentation describes French migrants' cosmopolitan desires and investments in Abu Dhabi. It argues that the cosmopolitan repertoire could be considered as a form of capital. This does not preclude segregation, but rather reinforces an exclusive cosmopolitanism whose borders are racialized.

Long abstract

Drawing on an ethnography of French migrants in Abu Dhabi, this presentation describes their relationship with their host society and how they represent their position and sense of legitimacy there. It describes and analyzes the multiple forms of what the author terms "cosmopolitan desire" that are nurtured by informants, with cosmopolitanism defined as the normative assertion of an identity framed by moral values such as "tolerance" and "openness." Although informants seldom used the term "cosmopolitan" themselves, the article uses it as an umbrella term for a diverse lexical field ("multicultural," "international," "intercultural," "citizen of the world") to which informants resort when describing themselves, their children, and their lifestyles. The presentation argues that the cosmopolitan repertoire could be considered as a form of capital, complicating the binary opposition between economically motivated migration (supposedly highly invested and strategic) and culturally motivated migration (said to be disinterested, marginal, or hypocritical), thus making it possible to avoid opposing economic and cultural rationales for international mobility. In fact, cosmopolitan desires are not merely a cultural disguise for economic motivations. Although they are quite varied among French residents, they are closely associated with an array of strategies to make the most of mobility, through investment in lifestyles and school trajectories that allow them to compensate for their distance from national structures for social reproduction. Far from precluding practices of segregation, theses practices reinforce an exclusive cosmopolitanism in which nationalities of the global North are overrepresented and whose borders are racialized.

Cosmopolitan enclaves and pedagogical adaptations: the case of Waldorf education in Kenya

Authors: Yonatan Nissim Gez (The Hebrew University) email
Manya Kagan (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) email
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Short abstract

The talk will explore cosmopolitan enclaves related to international schools in Kenya. In particular, we will consider Waldorf education in Nairobi and how it foregrounds tensions between local and global pedagogical cultures.

Long abstract

The expanding number of international schools in Kenya, which cater for expat and local populations alike, demonstrates the growing significance of the idea of cosmopolitanism. But while such schooling is meant to accrue an elusive cosmopolitan capital, it can also be criticized for engendering segregation in schooling and for decontextualizing and 'de-Kenyanizing' education. Indeed, while such cosmopolitan focus may or may not result in marginalization of pupils' sense of national attachment, it certainly foregrounds the privileges—real or wishful—of a globetrotting, unhindered elite: a stark difference from the limited possibilities available to most Kenyan school graduates. At the same time, Kenya's ever-expanding private education sector provides us with a diverse range of combinations of pedagogies and curricula - with schools varying in their degree of adapting Western pedagogical models to the local Kenyan context.

In this paper we will focus on the Waldorf educational model, an alternative pedagogical approach that has won considerable success in Kenya. Drawing on recent fieldwork within a Waldorf teacher training program in Nairobi, we will present data from interviews with teachers to examine how the model has been adapted to local educational culture, how it has been interpreted by teachers, and how it has been received by parents and by the wider public. Through the case of Waldorf education, we will touch on wider questions regarding the economy of aspirational futures, tensions between local and global, the deployment of strategic investment in education, and the perpetuation of privilege and the prospect of socio-economic ascension.

Cova da Moura: space and border in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon

Author: Susana Boletas (ICS - ULisboa) email
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Short abstract

Is Cova da Moura an example of a cosmopolitan enclave? I will address the potential of this concept while observing the various political, social, economic, cultural and symbolic interactions, as well as the tensions between Cova da Moura and the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon.

Long abstract

Cova da Moura is an informal neighbourhood built and inhabited by a migrant and multi-ethnic population, most of African origin and decent, on the periphery of Lisbon, a city rebranded for national identity building and touristic purposes as a secular cosmopolitan and multicultural metropolis. It's a place of symbolic and spatial borders. Cova da Moura is a mediated space, and the object of hybrid discourses that stigmatize and rehabilitate it. It is regarded as an ethnic enclave and a ghetto. It is also a touristic place, where guided tours are conducted. Kola San Jon, an event held annually has recently become cultural heritage. It was a strategy to legitimize Cova da Moura and its population. The neighbourhood was recently the subject of a state initiative for socio-spatial qualification, which was subsequently suspended. Even though national and city authorities value diversity this neighbourhood remains at risk of demolition, and its population at risk of expulsion and of social exclusion, suffering frequently from police violence. Is Cova da Moura an example of a cosmopolitan enclave? I will address the potential of this concept while observing the various political, social, economic, cultural and symbolic interactions, as well as the tensions between Cova da Moura and the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon. Pondering the population's different integration strategies as well as the marginalization traits as they are perceived both from the inside the neighbourhood, as from the outside. For this I used participant observation, made interviews and analysed media content.

Creating a Cosmopolitan 'Bubble': Constructing Locality at an International School in China

Author: Michal Assa-Inbar (Hebrew University of Jerusaelm) email
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Short abstract

Based on ethnographic research in an international school in China, this lecture will introduce the creation of a cosmopolitan 'bubble'. I will illustrate how the school constructed a 'Chinese locality' in order to define its own symbolic boundaries.

Long abstract

The notion of Cosmopolitanism captures the duality of the global world. On one hand, it mirrors the assumption of a common world where all people connect interdependently. On the other hand, cosmopolitanism has become cultural capital owned by the global elite, frequently manifested in distinctive enclaves.

This talk, based on ethnographic research conducted a decade ago in an international school in China (2005-2008), will introduce the concretization of this paradox. The school's harmonious ideology of cosmopolitan world citizens was tangled up in the tense daily lives of foreign students and teachers living in the Chinese city and created a conflictual reality. The gated school, where according to Chinese law local students are not permitted to study, enhanced the symbolic boundaries between locals and Expats. However, Chinese-ness filled the school in many other ways, through teaching-staff or language for instance, and reinforced the need to draw lines. Subsequently, I argue, the school created a protective, cosmopolitan 'bubble' based on the erosion of cultural borders alongside their reconstruction.

Based on Hannerz's idea, that "There can be no cosmopolitans without locals" (1990: 250), I will focus on the way 'Chinese locality' was constructed and what role it played in the creation and maintaining of the school's cosmopolitan 'bubble'. In the context of the school's cosmopolitan and multicultural ideology, Chinese-ness was conceived as 'local' but also carried 'cosmopolitan qualities'. I, therefore, suggest that by, selectively, employing encounters with 'the Chinese-other' to cater its needs, the school revealed an economy of values characterizing cosmopolitan enclaves.

Expats on the move: flexibility in the workplace and in the workout

Author: Stoyanka Andreeva Eneva (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) email
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Short abstract

This paper aims to analyse a cosmopolitan enclave composed by young US and British women living in Madrid, exploring their practices based on informality, precarity and integration difficulties and contrast them with the self-narrative of an expats´ group sharing information about work and leisure.

Long abstract

Expat communities are often associated with wealth, high qualified jobs, red-carpet treatment and fast-track immigration procedures. Even if in some cases this is not the reality, persons who migrate from the Global North to the Global South or, in our case, from the West to the West, are still considered expats and not immigrants.

This paper aims to explore the paradox between creating an image of cosmopolitan and ¨dolce vita¨ way of living and practices based on precarity, informality, lack of knowledge of the local language and culture and dependence of compatriots´ support. Such practices have often been related to stigmatization of Global South immigrants and irregular migration status.

The present text is based on ethnographic and autoethnographic research conducted during five months in three different environments: a yoga class, a women boxing class and the facebook group ¨Girl gone international Madrid¨. The three of them are ran and frequented mainly by US and British women living in Madrid. No matter what their education or profession is, the majority of them has been able to find a job only as part-time English teachers.

The final aim of the text is to explore the potential of these spaces where women shape their bodies and their knowledge about the city and to find connections and similarities between ethnic enclaves in Madrid framed in a very different way: as expat communities or as migrant ghettos.

Kalimpong - from 'cosmopolitan enclave' to 'frontier space': tensions and possibilities

Author: Anisa Bhutia (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) email
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Short abstract

In this paper, we look at the Eastern Himalayan town of Kalimpong as heterogeneous, connected space through past and present, negotiating claims from within and without. Can it be called cosmopolitan enclave? Or rather, frontier space?Or, both? We explore the tensions, paradoxes and possibilities.

Long abstract

Kalimpong is a small town in the ridge overlooking the Teesta and Relli rivers, located presently within the Indian state of West Bengal, in the Eastern Himalayas. Before the change in political-economic regimes from 1950s, the town had transregional trade connections with flow of goods, peoples and ideas resulting in interaction among different groups and heterogeneous settlements (Newaris, Marwaris, Tibetans, Europeans, etc.). In recent decades, demands for a separate state called Gorkhaland has intensified in this region largely due to the alleged neglect from West Bengal state government. Protest slogans like 'Bhutia, Lepcha, Nepali, We are the Gorkhali' clearly demonstrate an exclusionary identity politics inherent within such territorial claims. By ethnohistorical engagement with Kalimpong's everyday, we engage with this 'transformation' from a culturally heterogeneous 'glorious past' to 'neglected present' that needs 'homogenisation'. In the process, we question many concepts and highlight their underlying tension.

Firstly, we challenge the associations of cosmopolitanism with modernity and big cities, asking whether heterogeneous connected spaces of exchange like 'pre-modern' Kalimpong could be called cosmopolitan. In particular, we ask whether modern processes like political territorialisation (enclaving), democratic governance and centralised trade policies led to Kalimpong's marginalisation, eventually influencing local politics of ethnic homogenisation. Finally, borrowing from Uberoi's (1978) idea of 'frontier', we attempt conceiving Kalimpong (past and present) as rich, thriving space, negotiating life of its own, sustaining global connections despite paradoxical counter-indicative categorisation - political or otherwise.

Modular education: exploring international education through the competing myths of the oil workers' school and the international civil servants' school

Author: Matthieu Bolay (University of applied sciences HEP/PH Fribourg) email
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Short abstract

The paper draws on two competing foundational myths in international education - the Shell school in Piasau and the Ecolint in Geneva - to mutually inform on logics of abstraction and recontextualisation both in contexts of extractive enclavement and international cosmopolitan education.

Long abstract

International education has dramatically expanded over the last 20 years. This growing industry relies on two competing foundational myths which will serve as heuristic tools to explore the concept of "cosmopolitan enclave". The most circulated narrative in the field relates international education to the birth of the League of Nations, suggesting ideals of peace and cosmopolitan engagements on an ideational level (e.g. Kurt Hahn colleges) and the need to cater for the children of international civil servants on a practical one (e.g. Ecole Internationale de Genève in 1924). The second myth traces the birth of "international education" back to the first Shell school in Indonesia in 1922 and to subsequent corporate policies towards expatriates employees.

The paper explores the intertwining practices and discourses of "cosmopolitanism" and "enclavement" within the field of international education by discussing in what ways extractive enclavement (illustrated in the Shell narrative) informs the development of cosmopolitan education (illustrated in the Ecolint narrative). To do so, I borrow Anna Happel's reflexions on "modularity" (2012) to tease out logics of global abstraction and local recontextualisation and use it to link different and often contradictive trends in international education. Building on desk research, ethnographic fieldwork in "international" schools and interviews with various actors of the field, the paper subsequently traces modularity in schools' infrastructures, workforce, and curricula. It suggests that the expansion of international education largely follows spatio-temporal fixes of capital and thereby requires techniques of abstraction and recontextualisation which cosmopolitan ideals contribute to articulate.

Spatializing Foreigners in China: From Ethnic Clusterization to Cosmopolitan Enclavement?

Author: Marco Montagner (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) email
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Short abstract

This paper approaches the concept of cosmopolitan enclavement from the prism of urban Chinese society. It compares two antipodal neighborhoods addressing the relevance of spatiality and boundarization practices in the renegotiation of cosmopolitanism, transnationality, and stranger-ness.

Long abstract

This research looks at China as a country of immigration; a phenomenon restarted around twenty years ago after a long hiatus. Until recently this migration movement continued to grow, an inflow of foreigners never seen before in the country's history as destination for migration, layering visibly on the urban texture.

In China, foreigners tend to cluster in particular provinces and cities, and in those cities, they tend to cluster in particular areas.

In Guangzhou, foreigners are following apparently clear-cut clusterization patterns: this paper is an ethnographic comparison of two of these foreign neighborhoods. One neighborhood is Liede, where mostly white wealthy westerners cluster with middle-class locals; the other neighborhood is Xiaobei, where black mostly from the African continent connive with internal migrants and religious minorities.

Firstly, this paper will theoretically engage with previous literature on ethnic enclaves, discussing the possibility of foreign enclaves in the Chinese territory, and discuss the meanings of cosmopolitanism in China, as well as its discrepancies. Secondly, it will present a spatial analysis of the two enclaves, linking the differential proxemics and some of the practices of (self-)boundarization, showing how within a few kilometers different two antipodal types of enclavement can be found, and their social and political responses.

Believing that a comparison could be an interesting lens to show differential tensions and paradoxes at work even in a single city, the case of China would broaden the spectrum of ongoing processes of cosmopolitan enclavement.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.