Hospitality – Jacques Derrida’s Contribution to Theory

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Cosmopolitan virtues conceived as an ethos of openness and reciprocity is often associated with a way to relate and ‘a gesture for including the other’ (Fine and Boon 2007), but is perhaps not always liberating and emancipatory; as argued by Mustafa Dikec (Dikec 2002, 228), these virtues may even “conceal an oppressive aspect beneath its welcoming surface”. Immanuel Kant defined hospitality as “the right of a foreigner not be treated with hostility because he has arrived on the land of another” (Kant 1795; 1990:41-42). He added that the claim is one that does not encompass any right to be a guest: “It is only a right of temporary sojourn, a right to associate, which all men have”. At key of this paper presentation is the diaspora stranger in this restless and somehow indecisive position as “Sojourner” in which the stranger is always defined in relation to a host (Simmel 1908; 1971, 143-149, Levine 1077, 27). It takes inspiration from Jacques Derrida (1930-2004), who has offered an encompassing philosophy of hospitality with particular attention to the diaspora stranger forced in exile due to religious belonging; Despite being “a leftist Parisian intellectual, a secularist and an atheist”(Caputo 1997, xxiii) Derrida thoughts are deeply influenced by his diaspora identity. Derrida was born into a Sephardic Jewish family that immigrated to Algeria from Spain in the nineteenth century and like any other living in diaspora Derrida has a long memory, he identified himself as a crypto-Jew—“Marranos that we are, Marranos in any case whether we want to be or not, whether we know it or not” (Derrida 1993, 81, in Kleinburg 2015). The paper will introduce to four dimensions of Derrida’s philosophy of hospitality and its relevance to sociology: Negotiation, Mediation, Iterability and Khôra
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2018
EventXIX ISA World Congress of Sociology: Power, Violence and Justice: Reflections, Responses and Responsibilities - Metro Toronto Convention Center, Toronto, Canada
Duration: 15 Jul 201821 Jul 2018


ConferenceXIX ISA World Congress of Sociology
LocationMetro Toronto Convention Center
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