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This paper aims at opening a discussion about the possibility of using a re-conceptualised cosmopolitan paradigm for understanding new forms of belonging, as well as the various types and natures of intercultural relations and practices amongst the diverse populations in Johannesburg and other major African cities. After briefly reviewing the notion of cosmopolitanism as well as giving a cursory overview on different forms of belonging in Africa and African cities, the paper will outline the concepts of ‘practical cosmopolitanism’ and of moral, inclusive ‘cosmopolitan consciousness’. Finally, it will pose a set of future research questions, and emphasise the need for empirical research in order to apply the cosmopolitan paradigm in a more critical and productive way - in the academic and possibly even social realm - than is currently possible.

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Conference paper


International Migration Institute

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