Cosmopolitan Riot!

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Cosmopolitism is the ideology that all human beings belong to a community, based on a shared morality. The contemporary media landscape invites us to experience a belonging to various distant places, mourn the victims of faraway disasters, expose ourselves to foreign cultures and engage in political issues in places far from our local context of living. It epitomises the needs that social agents have to conceive of a unified entity. The concept presupposes a positive attitude towards difference, a desire to construct broad allegiances and equal and peaceful global communities.

Cosmopolitanism can be seen as a concept that is difficult to fully practice, but the processes and steps to which a more cosmopolitan viewpoint is achieved are prevalent throughout society and especially through the media and media flows sector. Social media has the ability to mitigate severe world issues that bring collectives of people in unison to create an equal worldview. Coined by Jürgen Habermas the “Public Sphere” is the space in which people gather as a collective to explore and discuss issues occurring the society through free speech and conversation, it is separate from the state and the official economy, and is egalitarian and open (Habermas, 1962). In this digital age, Habermas’ notion can be directly linked with the growth of technology and our ability to now broadcast to the world at the touch of a finger, transforming passive consumption to active production “The Internet fosters great dissent application within a digital paradigm by giving protesters the ability to communicate relatively instantaneously and modestly to large quantities of people beyond great distances (Fielder, 2012).

The magnitude to which social movements are capable of, in lessening the stratification and deterring of gender is becoming more monumental through the passage of time. ‘Pussy Riot’ has aimed to penetrate boundaries toward gender within Soviet Russia where they have communicated freedom of sex through radical methods. Based in Moscow, ‘Pussy Riot’ is a feminist punk rock protest group. The unit stage guerrilla-like performances in peculiar locations, filming their music content and then sharing therefore contributing it to the online persona for those arguing gender equality.

“Many forces have made contemporary cosmopolitanism possible: individualism with its relative detachment from immediate, narrow solidarities; global expansion of economic and political systems by military, commercial and religious means; development of transportation and communication technologies that have exacerbated time-space compression and, consequently, the circulation of people, information and commodities on a planetary scale.” –
(Ribiero, 2003)

The world has not certainly not become borderless, but the boundaries are becoming blurred and indistinct, becoming permeable to flows of information and capital. The cosmopolitanism of humanity is showing signs through practice of unconventional methods such as that of Pussy Riot to share an ideology that affects a great number if not a majority of people globally, that is gender. Cosmopolitanism, then, absolutely does not mean uniformity or homogenization. Individuals, communities, political organizations, collective, cultures, and civilizations wish to and should remain diverse, perhaps even unique. Though metaphorically, the walls between them must be replaced by bridges.


Fielder, J D 2012, ‘Dissent in digital: the Internet and dissent in authoritarian states’, PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) Thesis, University of Iowa, Iowa.

Ribeiro, G. 1998. Cybercultural politics. Boulder, CO .: Westview.

Ribeiro, G. 2003. What is Cosmopolitanism?. International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1(4), pp.19-25.




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