Volume 6, 2014
María Lucrecia Rovaletti
El otro como extranjero
The individual, as an actor in the social world, relies on “a stock of knowledge at hand” (Schutz). However, he also addresses the cultural and historic forms of validity based on the perspectives of his own interests, reasons and wishes, ambitions, religious and ideological commitments. In this sense, not only does the
social world constitute the main scene of our actions but also the locus of resistance. These days of highly social complexity and growing cultural interaction mobilize different identification and differentiation processes. In extraordinary situations of change, such as migration for reasons of work or study, or reasons of political or allegedly religious exile, a reformulation of socio-cultural spaces occurs, which is coupled with a rupture of social connections of support and belonging. This refers to a lifestyle under a “transience” status, which may last, in certain cases, all life long. The “place of roots” fails and the subject ends up feeling a stranger even in its own spaces. In this sense, the foreigner’s right (xenos) to hospitality resides precisely in not being considered the absolute other, the barbarian, the savage who is absolutely excluded and heterogeneous, but in being someone whose identity should be guaranteed. Upon answering this requirement, the foreigner undertakes responsibility before the law and before its hosts: the foreigner becomes “a subject of rights”.