The stranger. Sociology of the stranger

El extranjero. Sociología del extraño

The alien is not a person but a “social form”, this is, this is a link to the specific relationship, a particular way of being with others. Therefore, people are not foreign in themselves but to someone or some that well defined.

Three glances sociological to the estrangement of the world

The experience of all that is strange. novel, different or alien has been a perennial issue in the history of mankind, while it is true that the meanings attributed to and the consequences unleashed have varied spatio-temporally, that Is why we think of strangers, newcomers, or those who come from outside, does not mean to attend to novel developments in the social relations; but the fact that these categories form part of our concerns and discussions peers refers to a time horizon that justifies such interest cognitive.

In this framework, the classical texts of Georg Simmel, Alfred Schütz, and Norbert Elias as presented in this book are essential not only to understand but to embark on paths of creative research related to the current conditions of estrangement of the world.

The reading of Georg Simmel on “the stranger” offers us a look from the forms. Under the lens of sociological simmeliana, the society is not a thing or state, but the sum of “actions reciprocally oriented” in constant flow and movement. These can be long-lasting or transient, stable or ephemeral, and together form a network woven by invisible threads that binds us to each other and through that we condition each other reciprocally, because with our actions we have effects on others and suffer the consequences of the actions of others, we do and suffer at the same time. The alien is not a person but a “social form”, this is, this is a link to the specific relationship, a particular way of being with others. Therefore, people are not foreign in themselves but to someone or some that well defined. Being a foreigner does not necessarily mean coming from another country, as Simmel knew how people may feel foreign in their own land or in the social circles in which they want to be accepted and recognized. It follows from the above that being a foreigner is a construction, that is why the more family members can become a target of estrangement, whether by their beliefs, political stances, habits or lifestyle.

The interpretation of Alfred Schutz invites us to look at it from the experience. By its remarkable heritage, phenomenology husserliana, the analytical concern of Schutz consisted in giving an account of “how he perceives the people to the social world through their experience.” The experience is constituted according to the meaning they give to what happens to us and to the relationships we have with others. The possibility of acting depends on our ability to understand and interpret the meanings that have previously been assigned to our world. as well as the ability to re-significarlos in the present. To do this, Schutz points out that we have built a wealth of knowledge that meets the schemes of interpretation are able to give meaning to our daily lives, and that allow the continuum of the practice without interruption or disruption. However, Schutz was aware that he did not always share such schemes of interpretation with other people. The experience of the stranger is placed in the face of this dilemma, because it is a situation tfpica of estrangement with regard to guidelines in performing new and alien that they want to be understood. Hence, in the same sense that Simmel, the stranger is not necessarily an immigrant, but can be anyone who tries to be accepted and tolerated by a group that is approaching.

For his part, Norbert Elias offers us a look from the figures. Unlike Simmel and Schütz, the work of Elias is characterized by the analysis of data and research results aprehensibles that do not yield to the mere reference to concepts or brief illustrations. His most famous work, The process of civilization, it encompasses a range of studies sociogenéticos and psicogenéticos consists of two volumes of research. A large part of the legacy of this work is to emphasize how what people do and feel is related to the type of interlocks that they have with others and their transformations in the long term. In this sense, Elias provides concepts that allow thinking in terms of both procedural as relational. One of her major contributions is the concept of “figuration” that breaks with the duo ” classical “individual and society”, to try to explain how individuals and social groups are linked to each other, interact and are interdependent. From this approach, nothing that seems to strictly individual it is, rather, is explained by the relations that make it possible, even the image that one has of himself is not something strictly individual, as it relates to the various interdependencies that we have with the people in the group to which we belong, and with the position of the latter as compared to other groups, this will be one of the topics that surround the writing presented in this book.

From the Introduction by:

Olga Managed To Ramos


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Brief review on Olga Managed to Ramos

El extranjero. Sociología del extraño

Olga Managed to Ramos received a phd in Social and Political Sciences with Orientation in Sociology at the UNAM. She holds a Masters in Political and Social Studies at the UNAM, and a Degree in Sociology at the UAM. Is Professor-researcher in the Area of Sociological Thinking, Sociology Department, Metropolitan Autonomous University-Azcapotzalco, His lines of research are sociological theory, classical, in particular the work of Georg Simmel; the recent debates about the body and the emotions; the sensitivity as a condition of estrangement and the sociologies performing. He has published several papers and articles in these research fields. He is a member of the National System of Researchers.

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