chapter  11
18 Pages

A Taste for the Other

Cosmopolitanism, Sense Work, and the Consumption of Difference
WithIan Woodward

The concept of cosmopolitanism offers pathways for reframing core dimensions of the character and meaning of translocal consumption. An ancient philosophical idea once again at the center of innovations in social and cultural theory, cosmopolitanism relates to forms and practices of belonging and ethical solidarities reaching beyond local and national frames. Cosmopolitanism is a concept with antique lineage once again prominent within a range of social science and humanities disciplines. Globality generates increasingly diffuse networks of human and non-human innovators, carriers and icons of exotic, polyethnic cosmopolitan difference, and this diffusion is increasingly hard to ignore, police, and to assume a stability of meaning. The research into omnivorous cultural consumers tells people a number of important things about changing formations of consumption, and also teaches us some important lessons about the cosmopolitan consumer, or at least cosmopolitan forms of consumption.