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A Methodological Intervention in Cosmopolitanism Research: Cosmopolitan Dispositions Amongst Digital Natives
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6689-0710
2014 (English)In: Sociological research online, ISSN 1360-7804, E-ISSN 1360-7804, Vol. 19, no 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The concept cosmopolitanism has the potential of becoming one of the most interesting social scientific tools for understanding contemporary social life. Operationalising it however, has proved a difficult task. Here, researchers utilise different single indicators while making claims towards the same theoretical concept. This not only undermines the theoretical complexity immanent in the term cosmopolitanism, but also creates a false intersubjectivity in the field of cosmopolitanism studies. In order to 'save' cosmopolitanism from the risk of becoming an 'empty signifier' (Skrbis et al. 2004) or a '"free-floating" discursive geist' (Holton 2009), in an attempt to address the 'muddy' (Calhoun 2008) nature of the concept, this paper presents a methodological blueprint that locates the process of definition in the intersection of the theoretical and the empirical. As such, the proposed methodological way of conduct starts on the conceptual level in order to define the central theoretical tenets included in the cosmopolitan disposition. It then operationalises these claims into indicators that are included in an exploratory analysis of the data set. In conducting a minor quantitative study on 'digital natives' in Sweden the method is illustrated as being able to discern manifestations of 'actually existing cosmopolitanisms' (Malcomson 1998) and thus avoid the risk of reductionism involved with the use of one-dimensional indicators or pre-existing, less-than-adequate variables in secondary data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 19, no 3
Keyword [en]
Cosmopolitanism Studies, Methodology, Cosmopolitan Disposition
National Category
Sociology Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-33410DOI: 10.5153/sro.3418ISI: 000344993400022OAI: diva2:738699
Available from: 2014-08-19 Created: 2014-08-19 Last updated: 2016-04-13Bibliographically approved

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Lindell, Johan
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