Plural and Shared: The Sociology of a Cosmopolitan World


We live in a globalized world in which a person in Burkina Faso can identify with Star Wars heroes, and in which a New York trader drinks the same Starbucks coffee as his Taiwanese counterpart. How are individuals socialized in Rome, Bombay, and Tokyo? To answer this question, a unique investigation has been carried out using two scales of analysis usually tackled separately by global studies: the scale of the cosmopolitan world and its global narratives, imaginaries, iconographies; as well as the scale of everyday life and socialization to otherness. This two-fold perspective constitutes the innovative approach of this volume that endeavors to address an operationalization of the cosmopolitan perspective and reacts to current debates and new research findings.

With a Foreword by Natan Sznaider.

This book was first published in 2016 as Pluriel et commun. Sociologie d'un monde cosmopolite by Les Presses de Sciences Po, Paris.

Other editions: the book is also published in Italian as Plurale e comune. Sociologia di un mondo cosmopolita by Morlacchi editore, Perugia, 2018; and in Brazilian as Plural e comum. Sociologia de um mundo cosmopolita by Edições Sesc, Sao Paulo, 2018.

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Vincenzo Cicchelli is Associate Professor of Sociology at Université Paris Descartes and Research Fellow at GEMASS, Université Paris-Sorbonne/CNRS. At Brill, he is the co-editor-in-chief of Youth and Globalization (with Sylvie Octobre), the series co-editor of Youth in a Globalizing World (with Sylvie Octobre), and the series co-editor of Doing Global Studies (with Stéphane Dufoix). He has published (with Sylvie Octobre) Aesthetico-Cultural Cosmopolitanism and French Youth. The Taste of the World (Palgrave, 2018).
“Vincenzo Cicchelli’s ambitious new book Plural and Shared: The Sociology of a Cosmopolitan World is a timely and erudite addition to the wider debate on the possible contours of a sociology for cosmopolitan times.”
— Camil-Alexandru Parvu, University of Bucharest, in: Sociétés Plurielles 3 (2019) [ Full review]

"The advance of globalization has never been smooth and always contested. At the same time, the clash between nationalism and internationalism, or national solidarity and cosmopolitanism, has reached new levels of intensity. Against this background, Vincenzo Cicchelli has written a new and much needed book. He explores people’s experiences of a shared and plural world, and the tangible, ordinary mechanisms of global society that are shaping the cultural imaginaries and the lives of individuals today. The focus is on how individuals experience the cosmopolitan world and become familiar with cultural difference. Plural and Shared is a major contribution to understanding the cultural shifts of our time and how cosmopolitanism may be understood in this context."
David Held, Professor of Sociology, Durham University

"Timely and important, Plural and Shared is a well-written and meticulously researched monograph that stands as a major contribution to the growing body of literature on cosmopolitanism. It is a “must read” for anyone wanting to understand the historic and modern forces shaping our increasingly globalizing and cosmopolitan world."
Elijah Anderson, Professor of Sociology, Yale University

"Professor Vincenzo Cicchelli has written a thought-provoking book about an important and timely topic: how can we come to terms with the cosmopolitan world, which we share but which is inherently plural, composed of different cultures and outlooks on life? To address that conundrum, the book lays foundations for a cosmopolitan sociology and shows how it can be applied to examining the cultural, subjective and experiential dimensions of global society. It is a must read for all interested in global studies and cosmopolitanism."
Pertti Alasuutari, Professor of Sociology, University of Tampere

"Particulièrement riche en approfondissements théoriques, ce livre présente un apport certain quant aux définitions conceptuelles du cosmopolitisme. […] par la richesse du corpus théorique et la variété des outils méthodologiques présentés, constitue une base précieuse pour les futurs travaux de sociologie cosmopolite."
Robin Soyer, Vincenzo Cicchelli,
Pluriel et commun. Sociologie d’un monde cosmopolite , bLectures [En ligne], 2016

"The author describes the value of an ongoing dialogue between universalism and particularism – the foundational elements of the cosmopolitanism spirit – for producing a sociological sensibility to interpret our contemporary world and its global dynamics […]."
Vulca Fidolini, International Sociology Reviews 32, no. 5 (2017): 639–641

"Its novelty is made evident in arguments in favour of a (revived) sociology of cosmopolitanism, especially in indicative calls for more empirical works, and a fresh heuristic typology […. Thanks to its sociological ambition and to its search for nuance and empirical indicators, pointing out the contemporary sociological complexities and limits of cosmopolitan ideals would be one of this book’s merits."
Jean-Francxois Laniel, European Journal of Sociology , 58, no. 3 (2017): 480–484

"Un ouvrage passionnant, qui devrait durablement figurer en bonne place dans la bibliothèque de l’honnête homme du XXIe siècle, pour les clés de compréhension qu’il donne de bien des sujets d’actualité. Et pour ses vertus pédagogiques, malgré l’érudition de son auteur."
Sylvain Allemand, Alternatives Economiques

“Es preciso reconocer la originalidad del objeto de estudio y de la reflexión desarrollada en torno a un paradigma insuficientemente conocido, y el perfecto dominio de que hace gala el autor, tanto de la producción sociológica clásica y contemporánea como de la literatura en ciencias sociales y humanas, concretamente en antropología y filosofía. A su vez, la densidad de la obra no impide la solidez de la argumentación, la claridad de la exposición y la fluidez del estilo.”
Eguzki Urteaga, Universidad del País Vasco Reseñas , 54, no. 2 (2017): 565–587

by Natan Sznaider

Preface to the English Edition: Capturing Alterity: Cosmopolitan Socialization at Its Core
Prologue: Cosmopolitanism through Weal and Woe

Introduction: the Cosmopolitan Imagination: Understanding a Shared and Plural World
1. The Matrices of Cosmopolitanism
2. The Words to Express it
3. Universalist Ethics and the Spirit of Cosmopolitanism
4. Two Tests

Part 1. The Distinctive Characteristics of the Cosmopolitan World

Introduction to Part 1

1. Scales of Interdependence
1. A Transnational Scalar Space
2. The Nation- State in the Cosmopolitan World

2 The Matrices of Singularity
1. The World as a Totality and Global Risks
2. Apprehending Cultural Facts in the Cosmopolitan World
3. Cosmopolitan Repertoires

3. The Place of Plurality
1. Contradictory Experiences
2. Threatened by Globalization
3. Promoting Cultural Identities
4. Hybridizations
5. Universalism from Plurality

Conclusion to Part 1: The Universal and the Particular Tested by Globalization

Part 2. Cosmopolitan Socialization

Introduction to Part 2

4. Thinking Cosmopolitan Socialization
1. In search of Cosmopolitan Socialization 
2. Two Axes of Socialization
3. Laying the Groundwork for a Hermeneutics of Alterity

5. What is a Cosmopolitan?
1. Controversies
2. An Alternative

6. The Elementary Forms of the Cosmopolitan Spirit
1. A Self- Reflexive Process 
2. The Cosmopolitan Spirit in Everyday Life
3. Living as a Cosmopolitan: Four Fieldworks

Conclusion to Part 2: Cosmopolitan Socialization and Ideal Human Types

Conclusion: Cosmopolitan Sociology as a Project

Many aspects of the text may appeal to a wide range of readers — cultural theorists, students engaged in debates on representations of ethnicity or nationalism, global studies, cosmopolitanism etc.