“German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently made headlines when she pronounced multiculturalism in Germany a failure. Shortly before, a Globe and Mail editorial argued that Canadians should eradicate “multiculturalism” from their vocabulary and refocus on “citizenship.” Multiculturalism isn’t just out of style, these statements suggest – it’s dangerous for building unity in increasingly diverse societies.
Unfortunately, both analyses are dead wrong.
Social scientists can measure multiculturalism in a given society by examining the number and content of public policies and government pronouncements around cultural recognition and accommodation. Such indices show that Germany is not, and has never been, a multicultural society.
Multiculturalism can’t have failed in Germany because it was never tried. Turkish guest workers and other immigrants were never welcomed as future citizens – only as temporary labour. If Germans are now concerned about the consequences, the blame certainly doesn’t lie with multiculturalism.
These indices also group countries such as France and Norway with Germany as least multicultural, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United States as moderately multicultural, and Australia and Canada as most multicultural.
Have Canada’s past practices and policies hurt attempts to forge common citizenship out of diversity?
For further details, see the original article by Irene Bloemraad in the Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail.
National Endowment of the Humanities announces:
“The Bridging Cultures through Film: International Topics program supports projects that examine international and transnational themes in the humanities through documentary films. These projects are meant to spark Americans’ engagement with the broader world by exploring one or more countries and cultures outside of the United States. Proposed documentaries must be analytical and deeply grounded in humanities scholarship….
Projects are strongly encouraged to demonstrate international collaboration by enlisting scholars based both in the United States and abroad, and/or by working with an international media team. Such collaborations should bring broader cross-cultural perspectives to the proposed topics.”
Details available from NEH grants site where original announcement was posted.
JAMES W. CAREY URBAN COMMUNICATION GRANT
“This grant supports communication research that enhances urban social interaction and civic engagement in an age of global communication. It encourages applied research on the role of human communication in urban environments at a time when media technologies alter the parameters of community of all kinds.
James W. Carey noted in A Critical Reader that “I think all education, all scholarship is ultimately an aspect of citizenship.” The form of urbanity and community was an intrinsic part of this theme in the scholarship of Carey. He was concerned with the impact of media technology upon the changing form of the urban domain, the consequence of accelerated change upon human communication and community, and the growing gap between tradition and modernity as suburban sprawl threatens the very nature of urban traditions.
With an award of up to $1,000, this grant facilitates research in progress or in the planning stages. It gives priority to projects that feature innovation and creative approaches to studying the central role of human communication in the transformation of urban cultures and communities.
Proposals from developing nations are encouraged.
A six-person committee consisting of three members of the International Communication Association and three members of the Urban Communication Foundation will judge the proposals.
The winner(s) will be announced each year at the annual ICA business meeting. Award winners will be required to report to the UCF on the progress of their research the following year.
Submit the application electronically through the link provided by the ICA
website (www.icahdq.org). Application period opens on 1 November and
closes on 31 January. Complete application must include:
(1) a letter of application not exceeding two pages that speaks directly to each of the grant criteria from the description;
(2) a description of not exceeding three pages the proposed research;
(3) a current CV; and
(4) samples of publication relevant to the grant.”
(Originally published in the ICA November newsletter)
“A publication We no longer talk, which undertook the project Intercultural Dialogue – Creative Laboratories, has been published. The project Intercultural Dialogue – Creative Laboratories initiated creative activities in multicultural communities, exploring issues of memory, destruction of cultural heritage and the environment, social and ethnic conflict, migration and community building. Over a two year period, the work was structured around creative laboratories, with spaces for interaction and dialogue between different cultural groups using artistic practice. The work is documented at the project’s web site. This project was a partnership between Laundry from the UK, the New Culture Foundation from Bulgaria and the Borderland Foundation from Poland. “
See details at the Lab for Culture website.
2010 was declared to be the International Year of Rapprochement of Cultures by the United Nations. The following themes were identified:
1. promoting reciprocal knowledge of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity;
2. building a framework for commonly shared values;
3.strengthening quality education and the building of intercultural competences; and
4. fostering dialogue for sustainable development.
800 activities have been developed to support these goals.
See the UNESCO website created for the Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures for further details.
“The Rumi Forum gave its traditional awards of the RUMI Peace and Dialogue at the dinner held at Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill. At the ceremony, extraordinary individuals and organizations who have greatly contributed their time, energy, leadership and dedication to the cause of dialogue, peace, community service and understanding were awarded.”
See details at the Rumi Foundation site.
The Otto Klineberg Intercultural and International Relations Award
“The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues is proud to announce the Otto Klineberg Intercultural and International Relations Award honoring Dr. Otto Klineberg (1899-1992), an early president of SPSSI and distinguished figure in these fields.
Entries can be unpublished manuscripts, in press papers, book chapters, or journal articles published no more than 18 months prior to the submission deadline. Entries cannot be returned. The competition is open to non-members, as well as members of SPSSI, and graduate students are especially urged to submit papers. Submissions from across the social sciences are encouraged, however the paper must clearly demonstrate its relevance for psychological theory and research in the domain of intercultural and international relations.
An award of $1000 is given to “the best paper or article of the year on intercultural or international relations”—a field about which Professor Klineberg cared deeply from his social psychological commitment. Originality of the contribution, whether theoretical or empirical, will be given special weight.”
For more information, see the original posting.
“Youth Exchange Public Union would like to invite 24 young people from 10 European countries to Baku for 7 day-training about intercultural and inter-religious dialogue…The training is scheduled for 01-07 April 2011 and will be hosted in Baku Azerbaijan Republic. Financial support is under the European Commission’s “Youth in Action” programme granting scheme. If approved, all costs will be covered except for 30% of the international travel and visa costs. Organizations from all 27 EU member countries plus Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Turkey, YOUTH IN ACTION PROGRAMME countries, EECA countries are eligible to be partners. The working language of the Training Course is English.”
The deadline is November 1, 2010. See original posting for full details.
“On the occasion of the international ceremony of the Anna Lindh Journalist Award 2010 – taking place in the Principality of Monaco on Thursday 14 October 2010 – a roundtable event is being organized on the theme of ‘Media and Intercultural Relations in the Euro-Mediterranean region’.
The debate, which will involve renowned media experts and Mediterranean personalities, will open with a presentation of the 2010 ‘Anna Lindh Report on Euro-Mediterranean Intercultural Trends’ which has a thematic focus on the impact of media on public perceptions across the two shores of the Mediterranean.
According to the report findings, nearly four-fifths of people questioned in eight European countries and two-thirds of those questioned in five countries in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEM) were unable to recall coming across anything in the media recently that had enhanced their view of people in the ‘other’ group.
At the same time, the report places emphasis on the promotion of new media formats and entertainment media, whether film, real-life narratives or talent contests, as tools to reach a broad audience and demonstrate the diversity and richness of Euro-Mediterranean societies by providing examples of intercultural co-existence.
The Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures is a €7 million EU-funded project which aims at bringing people and organisations of the region closer and promoting dialogue, by offering them opportunities to work together on projects in the fields of culture, education, science, human rights, sustainable development, the empowerment of women and the arts.”
The original article
has links to the entire report, which may be downloaded as a PDF in English or French.
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