Hospitality, Rights, and Migrancy

Authored by: Meyda Yeğenoğlu

Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory

Print publication date:  March  2011
Online publication date:  March  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415548250
eBook ISBN: 9780203875575
Adobe ISBN: 9781135997946


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Recent years have witnessed growing enthusiasm about the concept of hospitality in an attempt to understand the relation between immigrants, exiles, foreigners, refugees, and other displaced populations who are in transit and/or without a home and their hosts or the “new” socio-cultural and political “homes” they are situated in. The portrayal of these groups as guests entails discussing the meaning of a series of other concepts and issues such as the host, what does to welcome and receive mean, subjectivity, ipseity, and interruption of the self, conditional and unconditional hospitality, hostility, home, ownership, and expropriation (or dispossession). But most important of all, these debates have highlighted the problematic and convoluted nature of the relation between the ethics and politics of hospitality. Three names stand out in any discussion of hospitality: Immanuel Kant, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jacques Derrida. In discussing their ideas, I will particularly focus on the importance of Derrida's recasting of our understanding of the nature of the relation between the ethics and politics of hospitality and the paradox, hiatus, or aporia this relation entails.

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