The 'Cosmopolitan' Self Does her Homework

Journal of Philosophy of Education 45 (4):597-612 (2011)
Abstract
Cosmopolitan concern for the whole world is often treated as oppositional to particular collectivities, to corresponding sensibilities and to the obligations that follow from them. Tensions revolve around demands made upon the self (depending on the emphasis on the local or the global) and infuse educational discourse accordingly. Culturalism approaches the self as a culturally or multiculturally shaped identity, monopolises the terrain of cosmopolitan debate and narrows the scope of cosmopolitan education only to encouraging hybridity of selfhood and to cultivating respect and tolerance of global diversity. In this article, I discuss Jeremy Waldron's conception of cosmopolitan selfhood by drawing on the exemplary status attributed to specific manifestations of hybrid identity. What will gradually emerge from my discussion is, hopefully, a broadening of cosmopolitan demands upon the self and an emphasis on the transforming and reforming rather than the forming or informing significance of cosmopolitan education. This trans/re-forming significance is attached to a critical positioning of the subject regarding the ethico-political responsibilities of one's home (-land, culture, commitments) that often go unnoticed. Doing one's homework is shown to be a precondition for a cosmopolitanism understood within the order of treatment of, rather than agreement with, the Other
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