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Journal Cover Cosmopolitan Civil Societies : An Interdisciplinary Journal
  [1 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1837-5391
   Published by U of Technology Sydney Homepage  [7 journals]
  • Alien life matters: reflections on cosmopolitanism, otherness, and

    • Authors: Andre Novoa
      Pages: 1 - 26
      Abstract: This is a synaptic paper that invites the reader to take a stroll on the edges of cross-disciplinary knowledge. We will walk the roads of anthropology, history, philosophy, astronomy and biology. It is mainly a theoretical article, where I attempt to provide links between authors and theories that were, at first sight, unrelated. In doing so, this paper is aimed at making one controversial claim: ideologically and politically speaking, cosmopolitanism may never fully transcend itself beyond a debate until and unless humankind encounters alien life forms. The argument is based on a simple equation. Despite all the quarrels and debates around the concept, it seems innocuous to assume that cosmopolitanism is the search for a certain universal identity or, at least, a search for a common culturalia, i.e. the cultural grounds wherein local and global senses of universalism come into being (section 2). In spite of the fact that identities are built in opposition and supported by difference (section 3), cosmopolitanism might only be possible as a political project (cosmopolitics) when humankind is faced with life forms that are capable of providing true Otherness. I believe that this may explain why we have been fascinated by the utopias of extra-terrestrials for many centuries now (section 4). These utopias are present in a diverse array of knowledges, ranging from science to art, literature or even religion. They have been around for at least 500 years. Until now, all of them have been trapped in the realm of imagination, but there is one concrete cluster of knowledge that has attempted to transpose these imaginings into reality: the promising discipline of astrobiology. Astrobiology is mainly troubled by the de-naturalisation of Earth in order to create analogues for the study of life elsewhere in the cosmos. Provocatively, I end up this paper stating that this may well be the most cosmopolitical practice available to us (section 5).
      PubDate: 2016-03-21
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Alex & I: Against Indifference

    • Authors: Sumugan Sivanesan
      Pages: 27 - 39
      Abstract: This text and photo essay concerns a series of portraits made with a community of Tamil refugees living in Bangkok who refer to themselves as ‘the Bachelors.’ The project was initiated by refugee and one-time media figure, Sanjeev ‘Alex’ Kuhendrarajah who hoped his peers would tell their own stories to an ‘international community.’ With reference to Judith Butler’s Frames of War (2009), I have sought to ‘discursively frame’ the images by considering the discrimination these young single men encounter living in the margins of this South Asian metropolis, awaiting the outcomes of their re-settlement applications.  
      PubDate: 2016-03-21
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Performing Work: Locality, Embodied Practice and Career Mobility of
           Chinese Women Bankers in Hong Kong

    • Authors: Wai-wan Chan
      Pages: 40 - 62
      Abstract: Women are emerging as significant actors in international financial industries concentrated in metropolitan cities which function as national and international business hubs. Based on 17 in-depth interviews with Chinese women bankers in Hong Kong, where one finds the highest concentration of banking institutions in the world, this paper examines the interplay between locality, gender performance and the career mobility of women bankers. The author argues that branch location is embedded within hierarchical fields of power and leads to different client groups, and ultimately, to different opportunities for upward mobility. Women bankers in Hong Kong are skilled in displaying multiple identities by using differentiated styles of language and different tongues, or languages, when interacting with different client groups in different branches. This strategy involves evaluative interpretation of perception because clients themselves make class distinctions according to different service settings. Although mid-level management teams in the banking industry have recently been rapidly feminised, this paper demonstrates that the glass ceiling is still real and continues to exert its invisible, negative impact. The upward mobility of Chinese women bankers is often blocked by informal barriers deeply embedded in the social structure and culture of both local society and international companies. These structural barriers and their resultant structured disadvantages for women are the consequence of the intersection, and sometimes the collusion, of ethnic politics, business or capitalist interests and social norms. Factors and structural forces such as race, ethnicity and gender are intertwined with and compounded to produce deep and far-reaching effects that are often beyond the control of the individual actor.
      PubDate: 2016-03-21
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
  • Knowledge and Power of the Civil Society: an empirical study of Brazilian
           professionals working in the NGOs

    • Pages: 63 - 84
      Abstract: This study critically analyses the way Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operate in Brazil and their contribution to the development of the  Brazilian civil society. The notion of "power fields" and "habitus", proposed by Bourdieu (1989; 1996), provides the theoretical backdrop to our discussions. This focusses largely on the recursive connection between structure and agency which resonates with the work of Fligstein (2006). This study seeks to critically analyse the learning and social practice developed by professionals in NGOs in their daily activities. This study is based on qualitative research and the results indicated that the knowledge produced by Brazilian NGOs, through the recursive connection between the agents of the fields and the structures underpinning them, contributes to the expansion and transformation of the field in which they operate. This perspective shows that the knowledge generated by this NGOs give them a certain level of power and influence in the Brazilian civil society.
      PubDate: 2016-03-21
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2016)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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