New Alterities and Emerging Cultures of Social Interaction
Past processes of globalisation have generated new degrees of societal heterogeneity and raised new interests in questions of social cohesion and integration. However, globalization is not the only contemporary process of societal hybridization. Two additional processes much less accounted for in the theoretical debate but no less precarious for social integration are societal aging and robotization. This text, in a first step, assesses the relevance of these new processes of societal hybridization drawing on statistical estimates. These predictions demonstrate that in the near future, everyday interactions with not only cultural strangers, but intelligent machines and computer devices as well as with persons with dementia will become ubiquitous, confronting our societies with so far unacquainted types and degrees of alterity. While contacts with cultural strangers are to some extent familiar (even though they are not assumed as standard case), the interaction with intelligent technical devices and persons with dementia represents new forms of alterity with which most societies have not yet established routines of conduct. Thus, secondly and much more in detail, the text assembles empirical studies that provide evidence for how new forms of hybrid interaction and cooperation emerge out of repeated contacts with each of the three alterities. Based on this groundwork, the text attempts at identifying the possible development of routines in the interaction with the three alterities as well as tendencies of and desiderata for the emergence of a new culture of cooperation and interaction in our future.
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