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GEITONIES: interethnic interactions in local neighbourhoods in European cities

Programme group Institutions, Inequalities, and Life courses (IIL)

This EU funded programme is concerned with how interethnic interactions, in local neighbourhoods, in European cities, may influence the creation of a more tolerant, cohesive and integrated society.

EU (7th framework) 

Period: 1/5/2008 – 30/4/2011 

In Europe multiculturalism and integration have become hotly debated issues, and are often used as banners by opposing camps. Integration, and even assimilation, are concepts that bear increasing weight, as concerns about the cohesion of society have grown steadily due to global processes and dramatic events clothed in symbolism that stress global cultural differences. Long-established policies of dealing with immigrant populations and of ‘managing' diversity and difference are currently at stake. Despite the value of these debates in political terms, they do point to a significant lack of scientific knowledge on how cultural interactions actually develop between individuals and groups of different ethnic background, in contexts were they meet on a daily basis. Also, we lack data on how these interactions are related to an interchange of skills and attitudes (acculturation) and how they bear on the social status of the individuals and groups engaged in contact. This project intends to address these issues from a relational perspective through the lens of place, assuming that in contemporary multi-ethnic European cities spaces of intercultural communication and engagement are vital to promote tolerance, cohesion, participation and inclusion in society.