What is it about?

Common sense represents an important force shaping the politics of belonging. Paying attention to the embodied and sensory aspects of common, taken-for-granted knowledge and habits, this article shows how cultural listening practices structure rights to the city and the exercise of citizenship. By tuning into religious sounds of church bells and the Muslim call to prayer, it offers investigates into how common sense impacts constitutional and municipal law to shape practices of citizenship and participation in France. The article argues that common sense deriving from perception and interpretation of public sound among majority French represents a stubborn obstacle to French Muslims’ exercise of full citizenship.

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Why is it important?

This article demonstrates one way in which ambient environments and sensory perceptions exert influence on laws and the politics of citizenship in democracies. This influence represents an unheeded force of political power and thus a potentially illiberal form of social control.

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This page is a summary of: Common sense politics: religion and belonging in French public space, French Politics, November 2020, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1057/s41253-020-00134-6.
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