On plural and pluralistic societies


See this only as supplementary reading for Edgeryders Living together campaign. Throughout our exploration exercise asking how you interact with new arrivals or people already living in a space, we refrained from applying the consecrated labels from the policy field, particularly to capture a fresh view outside the institutional constraints; we have designed this so that everybody feels welcomed to share their experiences, whether their part of a majority or a minority of any kind.  The advent of far right political movements and the wide support they benefit from, even in solid democratic societies, is deeply worrying. Most often, the targets of this rhetoric are migrants, foreigners, ethnic minorities, those people that “do not belong” to the “dominant” culture in a society. What does this mean in today’s globalized, extremely mobile world, when we talk about European citizenship, when London is home to more than 270 nationalities, or when the people we call second generation immigrants are in fact our peers, born, raised and taught in the same language, and sometimes are as much citizens as the rest of nationals? More than a mere movement of labor force driven by surplus and demand, migration has a cultural dimension that includes the mentality, ways of being and living between newcomers and host communities (CoE’s Guide on Migrants and their descendants…). The categorizing of individuals, even on a legal basis, into migrants or foreigners (see the extracomunitari in Italy, étrangers in France, Ausländer in Germany) most often enforces an “us”/ “them” dichotomy. When translated into human relations, these categories can dangerously result in a culture of stereotyping, hostility or exclusion. Even what was intended as a positive outlook on migrants or minorities – integration policy – is now criticized for bearing stigma and normativity, and unequal power relations. Some authors argue that given the multitude of lifestyles within a society, there is in fact no national identity to stand as baseline for shared norms and behaviors, such that the integration process is transformative in itself, it is a creative exchange that builds into a new “us” (CoE 2010, pp.65-70). Looking into this dynamic and learning to overcome not just marginalization, but also individualization in constructing identities, is at the heart of this Edgeryders Living Together campaign. ---------- -> Go back to mission page: The rules of the space -> Or if you’re ready to share your insights with the community, Start this mission now! [This will open a WYSIWYG editor where you can write about your experience]