"Cities and the Ethic of Care Among Strangers"

Institute Colloquium Winter 2010/11

  • Date: Nov 24, 2010
  • Time: 14:00 - 16:00
  • Speaker: Ash Amin (Durham University)
  • Ash Amin is Professor of Geography at Durham University and the Executive Director of the Institute of Advanced Study.
  • Location: MPI-MMG, Hermann-Föge-Weg 11, Göttingen
  • Room: Library Hall
"Cities and the Ethic of Care Among Strangers"

For more details please contact esser(at)mmg.mpg.de.

Thinking on the politics of integration in plural and diverse societies has only just begun to recognise how everyday habits of encounter shape feelings of affinity or distance among strangers. In this lecture, Professor Ash Amin will consider the balance between bodily experience of the other and habits of urban dwelling in shaping relations between a city‘s diverse communities. He will propose that, although worthy, attempts to break down community barriers through initiatives to bring people from different backgrounds together can only have a limited effect since most people in cities interact only fleetingly or rarely with strangers. Instead, he will make the case for a far broader approach based around building on the shared experiences of people living in an urban environment, involving interventions in a city‘s public infrastructure and its cultures of shared concerns and attachments. Professor Amin will warn, however, that little progress will be made unless a new public aversion in the West towards the stranger, which is evolving into a broader sentiment of suspicion about difference, can be overcome.


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