Between "Other" and "Stranger" - Attitude towards Cultural Difference in Modern Bulgarian Society
The analysis focuses on one of the most important issues of today's global age - cultural differences. Due to the ever-growing role of mobility cultural difference has increasingly come to the fore and began to define the relationships between individuals, peoples and cultures. While in the past when it came to cultural differences, the focus was on dialogue between cultures, and relations between the global and the local were seen as enriching humanity, today globalization is increasingly challenged in the name of cultural uniqueness. Even wars and killings are done in the name of it. In this regard, here, based on empirical data from conducted quantitative and qualitative sociological studies, the analysis is focused on the differences in attitude towards the „other“ and its cultural difference and hence the distances shown to it when „the other“ is „one’s own „ (i.e. part of the main ethnic communities in the contemporary Bulgarian society) and when the „other“ is „foreign/stranger“ (i.e., foreigners who come to live and work in Bulgaria, refugees). The main conclusion is that the knowledge of the “other”, which is achieved in the process of close and constant daily contact with him, leads to a shorter distance. Therefore, the distances that Bulgarian citizens demonstrate towards “foreigners” are many times greater than the distances that different ethnic communities in Bulgarian society demonstrate towards each other.
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