Discrimination and Interculturalism: exploring their intersection in theory and practice

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Workshop organized by Zenia Hellgren and Ricard Zapata-Barrero, GRITIM-UPF, within the framework of the REPCAT project.

Venue: Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, on March 27th 2020.

There is increasing awareness that racism and discrimination hamper the opportunities to enjoy social mobility and quality of life for many immigrants and ethnic minority people. Simultaneously, while xenophobic political parties continue to gain presence across Europe, in several regions, interculturalism remains unquestioned as the dominant approach to diversity. This is encouraging, but not sufficient for two main reasons: First, there is a need for empirical knowledge of whether and to what extent immigrants fare better in societies with an interculturalist policy framework. Second, most of the governments that apply interculturalism only adopt its mainstream narrative, and have difficulties in moving beyond the discursive arena through concrete forms of implementation. Anti-discrimination is inherent in the interculturalist approach, but how is this translated into political and legal measures, or social dynamics with a real impact on the lives of racialized groups? This workshop intends to provide an academic forum in order to explore the link between discrimination and interculturalism, based on the assumption that there is an interrelation between the two concepts that is essential for the life conditions of immigrants and ethnic minorities: on the one hand, ethnic discrimination constitutes an impediment for the fulfilment of interculturalist goals, while on the other hand, interculturalism may constitute a fruitful political and discursive tool to combat discrimination. Within the framework of the workshop, we encourage participants to suggest both theoretical and empirically grounded contributions that approach the relationship between discrimination and interculturalism, and the challenges of diversity management in societies that apply intercultural policies.

We encourage scholars who conduct research on discrimination, interculturalism and/or diversity management in general to submit their proposals. The specific aim of the workshop is to establish the outline for a special issue on this topic.

Please, submit your abstract (max 300 words) together with your short bio (max 300 words including website and ORCID) to Iren Eylül (ireneylul.karaoglu@upf.edu), before December 1st, 2019.

There are possibilities to apply for funding to cover travel and accommodation expenses in case your abstract is selected.


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