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Multicultural competence in student affairs. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass. Thank you for your concern.

How Can Interculturality Achieve Social Integration?

Please e-mail me at joanna. Your email address will not be published. Hi there, Please e-mail me at joanna. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Connections for Interculturalism. The concept of Interculturalism is not new and can be traced as far back as It has largely lain dormant however, and there has been little by way of academic development and neither has it been adopted in policy and practice to any great degree. In countries such as Germany, Greece, Russia and Spain, the term has occasionally been employed, Meer and Modood, though often in relation to education programmes.


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There is a timely and obvious need to develop a progressive re-thinking of multiculturalism. For many reasons, not all of which are fair, the multicultural brand has become toxic and enjoys little by way of popular nor political support. However, it is not just about re-branding. Multicultural policies were developed in the s and while appropriate for that time have failed to adapt to the current period of globalisation and super diversity.

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A recent and significant report, commissioned by the Searchlight Educational Trust SET, set out to explore the issues of English identity, faith and race. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys to date. It showed how limited the support for multiculturalism is at present. This Report therefore, somewhat alarmingly, suggests that only one quarter of the population are comfortable with our present model of multiculturalism. Matt Goodwin confirms this rather depressing attitudinal picture, with a review of the opinion polling on migration and race related issues over the last 10 years or so.

However, there is some good news as he also shows that presenting race as a biological difference no longer commands popular support and the Far Right are now trying to use other tactics to attract support. There are even greater dangers, however, in simply defending the concept of multiculturalism because it is under attack from the Far Right.

The concept needs to recognise that society has moved on and to provide a progressive intercultural vision for the new reality. All Western societies will become more mixed as globalisation proceeds.

How to Manage Cultural Differences in an Intercultural Relationship and Marriage

A shift to interculturalism is not just about re-branding, though frankly it will help the debate, both in popular and political terms. Interculturalism provides the opportunity to address five significant issues which multiculturalism has simply ignored. These are crucial in the new context of globalisation and super diversity and are set out below:.

Culture and Communication

Identity is a dynamic concept. Multiculturalism sees identity as static and fixed within group boundaries. They have — possibly inadvertently — promoted separatist notions of superiority, rather than breaking down boundaries and recognising our common humanity. The reality for many people today, however, is that identity is more fluid and even transitory. To a large extent, identity can now be regarded as chosen, rather than given.

And the tick box approach seems to be missing out on growing numbers of people who fall outside or across standard classifications. Multicultural theorists have never accepted this perspective and attempted to reinforce past conceptions of identity, supported by systems of over-protective community leaders and single identity funding which have homogenised and hardened in-group boundaries and stereotypes. Multiculturalism also revolved solely around race and failed to take account of the other forms of difference that have moved firmly into the public sphere — particularly sexual orientation, gender, faith and disability.

This has had profound implications as race has been defined in relation to social class and therefore racism is inextricably bound up with economic issues. This still has some salience, but difference — and the prejudice which it has created — is founded on relational bases too. Identity is now a hybrid concept for many people — particularly younger people and combines faith, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality and other ideas.

Hybrid identities are now the new reality for many people. National to international drivers of difference. That was true in the s, but globalisation and super diversity has meant that the influence of diasporas, transnational communications, social media and international travel, has created entirely new relationships. The black-white binary divide is no longer central and should no longer underpin our view of race and racism. New power and political structures.

Globalisation has brought many new international agencies into being. These have responded to a range of issues from international finance, crime, environmental concerns like climate change, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and many more. The European project perhaps stands out most in this regard. However, the process of Western de-industrialisation, the growth of global business and brands and international migration on a new scale, has created a popular sense of powerlessness and alienation.

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This has also had a profound impact upon the way people see themselves and together with the above, impacts on national identity. Elsewhere in the Report, the SET quote Castells and his view that the state has been bypassed by networks of wealth, power and information and lost much of its sovereignty. In later work Castells draws upon the research of Professor Norris of Harvard University who has analysed the World Values Survey to show that regional and local identities are trumping national loyalties. None of this should suggest that national identity could or should be downplayed.

In fact, there is a great danger in suggesting that the one area of identity that many people feel able to cling to in a time of uncertainty should be wiped away. The reality is however that national and cosmopolitan identities do now need to sit alongside each other — they are not opposed — something that multiculturalism has never acknowledged. An inter-disciplinary approach is now required to allow multiculturalism to move on from a purely class based structural approach to one where multi-faceted relationships are understood. Already social psychologists are beginning to determine many of the recent developments and in terms of policy and practice this means much more reliance on education programmes, shared spaces and interaction.

New and pervasive experiential learning opportunities need to be created to combat insular communities and extremist views. Past attempts at tackling racism and resolving inter-ethnic divisions have depended upon legislation and punitive measures to control behaviours.


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  8. That will undoubtedly have to continue but now needs to be supplemented by measures which address how and why and how such attitudes are formed in the first instance. In an era of globalisation and super diversity, relational issues have become much more important than structural divisions, simply because there are now many more cross cultural and multi-faceted inter relationships which arise within and between communities on an everyday basis. In fact, most of the principal multicultural texts fail to even consider the contribution of social psychology, they hardly mention contact theory, or any concept of in-group and out-group divisions.

    The writing on the wall for multiculturalism has been recognised. In doing so, they rightly suggest that interculturalism is:. Third, that interculturalism is something more committed to a stronger sense of the whole, in terms of such things as societal cohesion and national citizenship. Finally, that where multiculturalism may be illiberal and relativistic, interculturalism is more likely to lead to criticism of illiberal cultural practices as part of the process of intercultural dialogue.

    Meer and Modood, Further, when community cohesion emerged in with many new inter-relational programmes being introduced for the first time, the whole concept of community cohesion was attacked by avowed multiculturalists as an illiberal and politically motivated attack on established race relations policies Cantle, Branding is important. We need to be able to talk about race and diversity in a new way.

    Perspectives on Interculturality

    It represents a break with the past. There is a well of untapped desire to dispense with past language and fears about difference and to recognise that the world is made up of just one human race. Younger people — particularly those that have grown up in diverse areas — reject old ideas about difference and are beginning to endorse this intercultural view of the world. We should be proud of our particular identity or identities, but also need an additional cosmopolitan form which we can share.