Gender performance and cosmopolitan practice: exploring gendered frames of openness and hospitality

Nina Høy-Petersen, Ian Woodward, Zlatko Skrbis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Critiques of cosmopolitanism theory argue that the concept is premised on implicit assumptions of a masculine global citizen, replete with privileged access to various mobile and symbolic forms of social advantage. In response, empirical accounts of cosmopolitanism have explored the impact of class, education, and ethnicity on cosmopolitan practices. Yet, little direct empirical attention is given to whether and how men and women might differently understand and frame cultural diversity. We argue that to the extent that cosmopolitanism is constituted by social practices, scripts and repertoires of discursive narrativization, it is likely to be navigated and applied through gender-ideologies. Applying the methodological concept of cognitive schema to a set of qualitative data, and focusing on expressions of hospitality towards others within local communities, we inductively assemble evidence to show that men and women have differently articulated cosmopolitan imaginations. In conclusion, we consider what our empirical attention to gender might mean for how we advance critical theories of cosmopolitanism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Sociological Review
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)970-986
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • cosmopolitanism
  • hospitality
  • gender
  • openness


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