Productive crisis: cultural citizenship in social theory
'Cultural citizenship will always be a contested project,' writes Bryan Turner in this volume. Working with different definitions and applications, and from different disciplinary perspectives, the contributors to this book uncover the issues at stake in a project which, under scrutiny, grows larger, more complex and ever more open to contestation. This lack of consensus or unified vision in relation to cultural citizenship in no way diminishes the importance of the project, or its pertinence to the study of the contemporary social world. If anything, the widespread recognition of the need to explore the interaction between culture and citizenship at local, national and global levels, in theory as well as in practice, must be regarded as a dominant trend in contemporary social inquiry. If, as some of the chapters collected here contend, this trend has come about as the result of a crisis - the failure of current forms of civic and social organisation to accommodate, and current social theory to account for, new modes of being and belonging in a globalising world - the project of cultural citizenship is the necessary response to an urgent call to rethink the nature of communal life in all its manifestations. This heterology of practices, theories and debates is not, then , so much a sign of conceptual confusion as an acknowledgement of the magnitude of the work this project is called upon to perform.
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