On Friday 25 January an audience of seventy-five people gathered in the EBC’s airy 2nd floor lecture theatre to hear a distinguished panel of speakers offer their thoughts on social cohesion in Britain, and on whether the idea of ‘multiculturalism’ which has underpinned much policy and practice in recent years has had its day. Critics of multiculturalism argue that it has impeded integration and increased tensions between different cultural groups. The first speaker, Prof. Ted Cantle of the iCoCo Foundation and the University of Nottingham, argued that a new vision – of interculturalism – was necessary, with more emphasis on transnational identities and on social cohesion. Prof. Ann Phoenix of the Institute of Education agreed, while also stressing our capacity for switching between identities across different sectors of life. Jamie Bartlett of the thinktank Demos reported on research into politics and community relations online, where exchanges between different groups seem to lead to greater polarisation. Jasvinder Sanghera of the national charity KarmaNirvana argued that multiculturalism’s tolerance of some cultural values had brought a failure to challenge oppressive practices such as forced marriage. David Aaronovitch of The Times advised careful use of the word ‘multiculturalism’, which has a multiplicity of definitions, and saw greater interaction between groups as the best way to promote social cohesion. The half-day event ended with a lively and rich discussion between audience and panellists.
Tagged / Multiculturalism
BU colleagues may be interested in this half-day conference organised by the Media School on Friday 25 January 2013, at which a panel of leading experts and commentators will examine the future of social cohesion in Britain. This event is supported by the University’s public engagement programme, and is linked to the development of a research agenda focussing on political extremism. It will address key questions including: What are the main lessons to date of our experiences of ‘multiculturalism’? Where do the major fault lines in British society now lie? Can an inclusive public sphere be created in the age of social media? This afternoon of leading-edge ideas, debate and research will be of value to anyone with a professional, academic or citizenly interest in community relations, cultural difference and social conflict in Britain.
The speakers will be:
David Aaronovitch of The Times
Jamie Bartlett of Demos
Professor Ted Cantle CBE of the iCoCo Foundation
Professor Ann Phoenix of the Institute of Education
Jasvinder Sanghera of KarmaNirvana
Stephen Jukes, Dean of the Media School at Bournemouth University, will be in the chair.
The conference will be held in the University’s Executive Business Centre, a short walk from Bournemouth train station. The conference doors will open with tea and coffee at 12.30 p.m., and the final session will close at 5.30 p.m. There is no fee but registration is essential. To register, go to http://buybu.bournemouth.ac.uk/Multiculturalism-and-after.aspx
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