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Managing «Difference» in Eastern-European Transnational Families

Viorela Ducu and Áron Telegdi-Csetri

Studies in this book have been gathered on the occasion of two academic events in the field of Transnational Families, focusing on the Eastern-European space, from a – diversified – qualitative social research perspective. The volume places a special emphasis on a gendered and practice-oriented approach, exploring territories of domination and empowerment that inform the negotiation of difference. Studies follow processes of emancipation, family practices, redistribution of gendered roles, forms of abuse, social remittance, confrontation between rights and cultures, forming joint action strategies and egalitarian capital, in a process of emergence of new social actors. Studies reflect back upon the ambiguity of conceptual frameworks to be put to use while approaching this yet unexplored area.

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Transnational Difference – Cosmopolitan Meaning (Áron Telegdi-Csetri / Viorela Ducu)


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Áron Telegdi-Csetri, Viorela Ducu

Transnational Difference – Cosmopolitan Meaning1

Abstract The paper reviews the main issues and novelties of the book, focusing both on a thematically transnational and methodologically cosmopolitan approach. Practices of difference, strategies of coping and emancipation, new gender roles and social actors are identified, with a special emphasis on these as units of research – a feedback for academia.

Social research in the age of globalization has increasingly come to cover territories of transnationality – in its most general sense of the term –, whence its natively engagé focus on „difference” as the space of domination as well as emancipation has undergone a turn we could denote as cosmopolitan (Beck and Sznaider, 2006) (in an ethically normative, not a cultural sense). However, this gesture of seemingly naive labeling has rightly been subjected to immediate cutting criticism (Glick Schiller, 2010) as it failed to bring to the fore just what the dimensions of power – hence of domination as well as possible empowerment – were in this allegedly unified global context. This is just what an insistence on difference intends to keep unblurred, namely the persistently shifting domains of power and empowerment, domination and subversion by choice, hegemonic discourses and displays of social existence, legal-political frameworks and practices of living and coping.

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