Crippin’ the Flâneur: Cosmopolitanism and Landscapes of Tolerance

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    Cosmopolitanism, desire and the contracting of social relationships are enduring themes in both philosophy and social theory. In this paper I seek to explore these themes in order to ascertain what they might mean to disabled people and the ethos of ableism more generally. Modern Westernized life has since the Industrial Revolution been sited in cities fostering the growth of urban culture and an ethos of cosmopolitanism (Agamben, 2009; Beck, 2002; Cheah, 2006). The cosmopolitan outlook has become the signifier of that which is developed, advanced and civilized in society. The liberal project of the melting pot, of social tolerance is cast against the backdrop of city life (Brown, 2006). The paper will first examine the trope of cosmopolitanism and disability including the place of ‘spaces’ for marginal peoples. Second, it will provide a perspective on the disabled flâneur (Campbell, 2009; Simmel, 1908; Young, 2005) who ambivalently claims ‘outsider-insidedness’ and finally the paper moves to consider the significant question of social inclusion and the government of aversion through the deployment of discourses of tolerance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)75-89
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Social Inclusion
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Cosmopolitanism
    • Social inclusion
    • Community
    • flaneur
    • tolerance
    • biopolitics
    • disability


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