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Look up cosmopolitan in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

The word cosmopolitan describes an environment where many cultures from around the world coexist; or a person whose perspective reflects exposure to a variety of cultures. It may also have the weaker senses of "worldly" or "sophisticated".

The word derives from Greek cosmos (the world) and polis (city). Its sense overlaps to some extent with citizen of the world, implying identification with a world community rather than with only a particular state, nation or people. Indeed, its first recorded usage was by Diogenes the Cynic, who described himself as a "kosmou polites", i.e. "a citizen of the world"; and as such he would seek attachments beyond the local ones, disregarding the importance given to 'accidentally' obtained concepts of gender, place of birth, place of residence and so on.

The word is sometimes misused to mean only "the global", either as a person who is seasoned in ways of the world, or as an adjective, to describe something with a far-reaching impact. However, it is argued by many scholars that a multicultural context, multiculturalism, is a necessity for people to develop a cosmopolitan identity.

Cosmopolitan identity would, as all other identities, be contextual and situated. This might mean that while feeling quite cosmopolitan in a situation, a person could act, for example, as a nationalist in a different context.

The cosmopolitan view is the core of Cosmopolitanism, a socio-political stance or movement which sees all persons in all nations as members of a single global community -- in contrast or conjunction with nationalism.


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