Cosmopolitanism and Migration in São Paulo: Reintroducing a Measure of Legitimacy of Being Cosmopolitan

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 11:30
Location: Hörsaal 07 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Viviane RIEGEL, ESPM-SP, Brazil
Considering the importance of human mobility in the contemporary context, there are different perceptions and results regarding the time duration of this process, whether it is temporary or permanent, and mainly concerning economic, political and social aspects in the planning and execution of the process of mobility. Those who move permanently, migrants, in their majority, do it as a result of economic, political, or environmental pressures. Yet, there is also a group of people that choose to migrate and live in a different country, studying or working, after planning and structuring for this shift. Our concern in this research is to analyze the definition of cosmopolitanism, and to understand how migrants, forced or planned, have somehow to be cosmopolitan. This process has a significant distinction between global elites, highly educated expatriates, and forced migrants, once some choose to be cosmopolitan, and others are forced to live accordingly to a cosmopolitan stance. In this direction, our first step is to reintroduce a measure of legitimacy of cosmopolitanism with an approach that seeks to find traces of the great abstract principles of cosmopolitanism in the little things of everyday life (Skrbis and Woodward 2013), in the experience of social actors. The cosmopolitanism of migrants, who use several languages and sometimes mix them in their communicative practices, but also in their practices of consumption, would not be considered inferior to that of the cosmopolitan elites. Our aim is to develop a discussion on the emergence of cosmopolitan consciousness, practices, as well as imagination, comparing different groups of migrants in São Paulo, Brazil. This study is conducted through the analysis of interviews with individuals from different parts of the world, and of different social economic backgrounds, living permanently in this city.