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“We Got To Live Together”: The Psychology of Encounter and the Politics of Engagement

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The article is set in the normative claim that our work as political psychologists emerges from concerns with our contemporary worlds and that political psychologists should not hesitate to draw out the policy implications of their own work. Following a brief explanation of the Allport tradition of the contact hypothesis and its critics, the article proposes four analytical considerations that contribute to the further understanding of the psychology of encounter and the politics of engagement: First, the insight that the individual is already constituted as a social being, through contact; second, an exploration of the opportunities and challenges of dialogue; third, the changing nature of selfhood, agency, and identity in the contemporary world; and, finally, through deep multiculturalism, the cosmopolitical perspective, and the politics of care, the case for a viable and sustainable politics of engagement.
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Keywords: contact; cosmopolitics; dialogue; encounter; engagement; multiculturalism; politics of care

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2016

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