Knowledge (Examination: Written exam with open questions):
- Gather knowledge of multiple theoretical and research perspectives on the challenges facing multicultural societies in Western countries and on the ways the organization of citizenship is connected to making political claims (in the institutional and discursive space) about cultural diversity.
Understand and apply (Examination: Written exam; student-led presentatoins; documentary questions):
- Relate theoretical concepts and theories and apply these in various European contexts as discussed in the course.
- Learn actively from participants in the course with a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and international experiences in relation to topics of cultural diversity in various national contexts.
Apply and analyze (Examination: Group paper including presentations):
- Apply theoretical and research approaches into issues surrounding multicultural societies in a specific case study - as elaborated upon in a group research paper.
Apply and reflect (Examination: Active participation and experiencing the multicultural society from within):
- Gain first hand knowledge and experience of what it means to be part of a multicultural society and be able to apply this knowledge to further situations.
Analyze and evaluate (Examination: Group paper including presentations):
- Be able to critically evaluate a case by using the concepts and theories regarding the multicultural society.
- Critically reflect concepts, theories and policies regarding the case study studied in detail in the research paper.
A society is named 'multicultural' when it is comprised of various ethnic populations and/or various nationalities. Western 'multicultural' societies include people from the Mediterranean countries who came during the 1960s and 1970s as so-called 'guest-workers'. In the 1970 and 1980s people from former colonies and asylum-seekers also found their way to European countries. One of the main challenges for multicultural societies is to develop social cohesion out of this diversity, a process that doesn't go without tensions and conflicts. While many newcomers succeeded in integrating into their new homeland without neglecting their cultural identity, conflicts between insiders and outsiders didn't disappear. Inclusion and exclusion as well as integration and separation are processes social scientists concentrate on.
Our main question is: how does ethnic and cultural diversity as an empirical reality lead to new forms of integration and social cohesion or to nativist backlashes - such as nationalism, xenophobia and new racisms? To answer this question it will not be sufficient to regard only the 'foreigners' or 'aliens' as problematic; each society - including all its members - stands for the problem of creating a satisfactory form of pluralism in which various groups are able to live together successfully. This implies that it is important to look at the ways nation-states give access to citizenship and how claims of migrants are acknowledged or resisted. You are asked to (critically) examine the main question by using concepts and theories on multiculturalism derived from different disciplines. The subjects discussed within this course are: migration, multiculturalism, citizenship, refugees in Europe, settlement, acculturation, xenophobia and racism, (right-wing) populism, policies of integration, the challenge of Islam, identity, cultural diversity and cultural war(s).