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Integrating strangers into the mainstream society: a phenomenological perspective

Bonotti, Matteo 2013. Integrating strangers into the mainstream society: a phenomenological perspective. Schutzian Research. A Yearbook of Worldly Phenomenology and Qualitative Social Science 5 , pp. 23-36. 10.7761/SR.5.2013.23

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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that participation in face-to-face social groups can make a crucial contribution to the inclusion of strangers into the social life of liberal democratic polities. First, I critically assess Alfred Schutz’s (1964) phenomenological analysis of “The Stranger” within the context of his overall conception of the “life-world.” I then argue that linguistic communication can only enable a partial integration of strangers into an alien group. This is due, I claim, to what Schutz calls the “irreversibility of inner time,” i.e., the meta-structure of temporality which prevents outsiders from fully internalizing the structures of an alien life-world. Nevertheless, I conclude that strangers can join small groups and associations and, by participating in face-to-face relationships and activities, integrate into the common life of these groups. Thanks to a pre-communicative interaction with the other members of these groups, strangers can grasp those more intangible elements of the groups’ cultural background which cannot be rationalized and communicated through language. Participation in the social activities of face-toface groups provides strangers with a starting point for gradually integrating into the mainstream society

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Publisher: Philosophy Documentation Center
ISSN: 2067-0621
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2019 02:15
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/78997

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