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International Review of Social Research

Print ISSN: 2069-8267
Online ISSN:2069-8534
Frequency: Three times a year
Current volume: 3/2013

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October 2012; Volume 2, Issue 3.


Cosmopolitanism Sits in Places: Consumption and Cosmopolitics in Latin America (pages 59-77)
Article first published online: 20 october 2012

Keywords: cosmopolitanism; consumption; material culture; space; Latin America.

Abstract. Renewed interest in cosmopolitanism has spread across the humanities and social sciences in recent decades. However, this growth has also carried many of the values underpinning cosmopolitanism as a Kantian ideal, including a denigration of consumption and material relations in favour of a putatively social core. In this article, however, I argue that cosmopolitanism is lived through the relations and politics of materiality and consumerism. Through an investigation of ethnographies of urban poverty in Latin America, cosmopolitanism emerges as a diverse, locally instantiated ideology and identity which diverges from many of the debates circulating in sites of academia. With an emphasis on marginalised communities, I reconsider cosmopolitanism as a series of material identities and relationships that develop within the context of economic and social inequality in both local and global scales.

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©University of Bucharest, 2012