Interculturalism in Cities

Interculturalism in Cities

Concept, Policy and Implementation

Edited by Ricard Zapata-Barrero

Cities are increasingly recognized as new players in diversity studies, and many of them are showing evidence of an intercultural shift. As an emerging concept and policy, interculturalism is becoming the most pragmatic answer to concrete concerns in cities. Within this framework, this book covers two major concerns: how to conceptualize and how to implement intercultural policies. Through the use of theoretical and comparative case studies, the current most prominent contributors in the field examine an area that multicultural policies have missed in the past: interaction between people from different cultures and national backgrounds. By compiling the recent research in Europe and elsewhere this book concludes that interculturalism is becoming both an attractive and efficient new paradigm for diversity management.

Chapter 10: Measuring outcomes: youth and interculturalism in the classroom

Allison Harell

Subjects: geography, cities, human geography, politics and public policy, migration, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, migration, urban and regional studies, cities, migration, urban studies


Growing diversity in Western democracies has raised important concerns about the best ways in which to ensure both social cohesion and social integration. How does the native population learn to accept growing diversity and how do we ensure that newcomers are not marginalized culturally, economically or politically? The response to this question has varied over time, from assimilationist policies to integrationist, multicultural and intercultural approaches. Interculturalism has increasingly become the preference among policy makers within many European countries, especially at the local level, as well as in the province of Québec in Canada. Intercultural policies, according to the Council of Europe, rest on three pillars: (1) honest communication and continuous debate about the realities of migration and diversity, (2) the diversification of public bodies, and (3) cultural competence within organizations (Council of Europe, 2013). In this chapter, we consider interculturalism in the school environment. How is social diversity experienced in schools and what is its impact on social cohesion? Are there differences between cities? And what are the implications of this for intercultural policies?

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