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A Cosmopolitan Sense of Place

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Chapter Summary

Can a cosmopolitan develop a rich sense of place? This article attempts, through the reading of numerous contemporary novels, to articulate the basis of what might be a cosmopolitan sense of place. A traditional sense of place was rooted in biography and familial bonds, and implied knowing both the history and the material physicality of the place. Yet modernity has increased mobility and greater numbers of people change cities, countries and continents several times through their lifetimes. With such mobility and the predominance of urban dwelling, how can people establish a strong relationship to a place and land that they never get to know in depth? My thesis is that cosmopolitans can develop these relationships to place, albeit, to multiple places and that these diverse sites contribute layers of meaning that enrich the cosmopolitan’s worldview.



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