Chapter 2: Interculturalism: a policy instrument supporting social inclusion?
This chapter is dedicated to the analysis of policies and discourses, developed at local level, on interculturalism, in order to see how these take into account issues of social inclusion and exclusion. We investigate how cities define interculturalism and if, and in what way, they use intercultural policies as instruments to contrast social exclusion and foster immigrants’ social inclusion. The issue of intercultural dialogue, and generally speaking, of intercultural policies, has long been the focus of attention for European institutions. The proliferation of relationships between different groups in European cities and in the different spheres of the receiving societies (from school to access to employment, neighbourhood relations, etc.), has led to the emerging of various kinds of conflicts, which represent the background of reflections on how interculturalism can foster social inclusion. However, the relation between interculturalism and social inclusion is far from being straightforward. Intercultural policies have been very often intended as focused just on favouring the expression of different cultural backgrounds and artistic traditions rather than as instruments to avoid the social exclusion of migrant groups.
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