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The ‘Cricketing Stranger’: The London Bombings and the ‘Homegrown Terrorist’

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Abstract

Who are the strangers in contemporary society? Who are the undecidables of the modern world (Bauman, 1991: 55), figures of the stranger particular to our present day societies? Following earlier discussions we know that these undecidables are not necessarily going to be those who ‘arrive today and stay tomorrow’ as in the classical formulation of the stranger, nor are they going to be those who are easy to position in terms of us/them and inside/outside dichotomies, bearing in mind the difficulty of sustaining such binaries under conditions of globalization. Contemporary figures of the stranger, I argue, occupy an indeterminate place in society, but not in the sense that they are neither friend nor enemy, neither us nor them, but because they emerge — rapidly, in many instances, and for only a brief duration — into a social world to whose citizens they remain totally anonymous. Their strangeness inheres in their brief eruption from routinized existence, an emergence which often causes consternation, anxiety or even fear in the rest of the population. These strangers don’t ‘come today and stay tomorrow’, they are ‘here today and gone tomorrow’. They don’t arrive as such; they burst forth from their embedded existence, either because they have drawn attention to themselves through some public act or because the media casts the spotlight on them for a brief period.

Keywords

National Minority Daily Mail Ontological Security British Citizen Cricket Ball 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Chris Rumford 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Royal HollowayUniversity of LondonUK

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