Congrès Mondial des Études sur le Moyen-Orient et l'Afrique du Nord

Barcelone, du 19 au 24 julliet 2010


Managing Multiculturalism (486) - Panel

· Langue: English

· Description: Chair:Lorenzo Ascanio (Firenze University)

Paper presenter: Pietro Soddu (PhD Candidate - International Consultant-Faculty of Political Sciences, Historical, Political and International Department, University of Cagliari and Department of Social Work, University of Granada), “Immigration and pluralism as new challenge for the Italian and Spanish civil societies: the dialogue and social participation with Muslim immigrants for a better understanding and management of local public policies. Two case studies: the cities of Cagliari and Granada”
Over the centuries the Mediterranean has witnessed a succession of opposed scenarios of different powers and ideologies. In spite of this fact Mediterranean socio-economic history has revealed repeated cultural exchanges and contacts between the two shores in addition to the sharing of the same heritage not only from the architectural, historical and archaeological point of view, but even from a wider and more open cultural human one, in the sense of the anthropological expression ‘collective experience’. One of the most relevant aspects that characterises this human and cultural heritage is represented by the frequent migration of people who in the same historical period have occupied the two coasts of the Mediterranean. We are referring to that social process which is commonly defined as ‘the migration problem’. The need of reaching an adequate level of tolerance and balance in the handling of the social process policy, in terms of progress and not of a faltering national identity is certainly the goal which the various Euro-Mediterranean populations aim to. As far as the paper is concerned this social process is the very protagonist and/or ‘deus ex machina’ of a script where the main characters, the Arab-Muslim one and the Western Christian one are acting. The cultural integration of these social groups would definitely be the most crucial means through which to enhance and keep the Euro-Mediterranean human cultural tradition, together with the understanding of the needs and the uneasiness which the fact of belonging to a specific religious faith and culture implies, and with a continuous review over the Arab-Muslim stereotypes which are supported by certain political trends. The aim of this paper is to analyze the relationship between international migrations theories and the social change of Spanish and Italian civil societies. As a consequence of this assumption we set out to explain that European Society is facing with an important social progress in terms of cultural diversity thanks to immigration. Finally we will try to emphasize that dialogue and social participation as a political strategy should be the best way to manage immigrant’s settlement. The idea behind the development of a civil society in terms of pluralism is that inclusion rather than exclusion is necessary to dismantling barriers between cultures connoting a politics of recognition of the citizenship rights and cultural identities of ethnic minority groups. As a matter of fact we wish to clarify why European Governments treat immigration especially with labor market participation and unemployment point of view. The groups of immigrants established permanently in the Italian and Spanish societies are claiming the recognition of their ethnic identity that is a particular form of pluralism. With this paper we will try to clarify how should be relevant the link between the immigrants’ acquisition of citizenship and European countries management of local public policies underlining two case studies of Granada and Cagliari municipalities.

Paper presenter: Valentina Fedele (PHD Sociology-Università della Calabria, Italy), “La formation des imams de France: une approche socio-islamologique”
L'islam, deuxième religion en Europe, doit se reconstruire aujourd'hui une structure de plausibilité, c'est-à-dire un system de justification des croyances dans un contexte pluriel et pluraliste. Dans ce cadre, le rôle des autorités religieuses est très important, parce qu'elles doivent guider les croyants dans la construction de la crédibilité des croyances et, en même temps, doivent créer une nouvelle mémoire collective, en unissant tradition et vie quotidienne, qui sont souvent en contradiction. En Europe, les imams ont un rôle inédit, parce qu'ils cumulent des fonctions religieuses traditionnelles, liées aux pratiques religieuses, avec de nouvelles fonctions sociales, civiles, culturelles politiques, surtout par rapport aux jeunes issus de l'immigration, qui sont les protagonistes principaux de l'inculturation quotidienne de l'islam. L'importance du rôle des imams, dans une religion comme l'islam qui refuse la médiation entre l'homme et Dieu a plusieurs significations au niveau islamologique et sociologique. La question centrale est donc, de savoir si les imams ont les compétences pour s'acquitter de cette fonction et si la condition minoritaire de l'islam d'Europe demande une reformulation de l'imamat. L'objectif de ce article est de contribuer à donner une réponse a cette question, en se concentrant sur la formation des imams en France, autour de laquelle un débat est en cour depuis les années 80, qui aujourd'hui commence à donner son premier résultat pratique même si cela est encore au niveau expérimental. L'article propose une analyse des programmes d'études des deux instituts Français qui peuvent donner des diplômes d'imam, c'est à dire l'Institut Européen des Sciences Humaines (IESH), à Château-Chinon et l'Institut Musulman de la Mosquée de Paris (IMMP). Les programmes seront analysés, en suivant deux directions l'une est d'ordre islamologique et l'autre sociologique. Du point de vue islamologique, on se concentrera sur la qualité des enseignements, qui ont des conséquences fondamentales sur la structuration de l'islam d'Europe, en termes de standardisation et raidissement, en particulier par rapport à l'espace religieux, politique et économique donné aux écoles dont les primaties ethno-nationales appartiennent. Quant au point de vue sociologique, la formation proposée par les instituts sera comparée avec les nécessitées spirituelles et pratiques des jeunes issus de l'immigration entre 18 et 36 ans, relevées à travers des entretiens qualitatifs réalisés dans le Nord de la France, à Lille.

Paper presenter: Giuliana Cacciapuoti (experienced professor of Arab Islamic studies-University of Naples L'Orientale), "Intercultural strategies and legal treatment for Arabic speaking people in Campania-Italy"
Intercultural strategies and legal treatment for Arabic speaking people in Campania-Italy Immigration is a relatively new phenomenon in Italy and in Campania, region of the South of Italy. Many immigrants, in the past, have been agricultural seasonal workers, or they passed through Campania to look for work in the North. Starting from the end of 90?s the situation has been changing. The Campania region nowadays has a growing percentage of Maghreb and Middle Eastern immigrants who have settled in the area. For the first time the regional and local administrations are dealing with second generation immigrants, children who will grow up speaking Italian, but who are still frequently viewed by the wider Italian society as outsiders. They are not Italian by law but they live in Italy as Italians. On the contrary they live at home in their traditional culture as well. Most of their parents, coming from Maghreb or Middle Eastern Arabic countries to Italy, have little education. This paper presents the experience of the educational project organized with the support of an academic institution, the University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’ and the local public institutions. The project is a challenging one. Actually its aim is to help breaking down barriers of mistrust and misunderstanding, to promote citizenship and partnership based on mutual cultural respect. In order to make this educational project successful it has been decided from the beginning to co-operate with the local immigrant communities and most representative Muslim migrants’ associations and even the imams of the main cultural centres of the region. A glimpse sight of the legal treatment of the muslim minority living in Campania will be presented, in order to understand what was successful and unsuccessful in that experimental experience. At the same time, it is essential that these young people do not forget their cultural traditions; their families want them to learn Arabic during weekends in mosques and cultural centres. We intend to explain how in the public sphere and with the help of the local educational governmental board, public institutions tried to fill the cultural gap and to keep educational and cultural programmes not outside but inside public institutions to avoid the risk of ‘enclaves’ or separated parallel societies. Both theory and practice on the matter will be debated. Case studies on the topic will be presented in detail in this paper.

Paper presenter: Maisa C. Taha (Ph. D Candidate-University of Arizona, USA), "Life in the Intercultural Chronotope: Projections of Diverse Madrid in Amateur Fiction"
With over five million immigrants in 2009 alone, Spanish concerns over social cohesion have prompted myriad community outreach and education programs. Since 2001, Madrid’s School of Social Mediators for Immigration has sponsored an amateur short story contest entitled 'Tell Me of Your Diversity' (''Cuéntame de tu diversidad''). In this paper, I examine winning stories from 2002 to 2006 and argue that a re-imagining of Spanish society takes place within, opening urban space to desirable subjects and projecting time forward to generations wrought harmonious through peaceful miscegenation. I call this framework the intercultural chronotope (pace Bakhtin 1981), drawing on the social mediators'' own belief in the communicative, relational facets of urban life as key to social order. The fates of the stories'' North African and Sub-Saharan African protagonists reveal ambivalent and painful limitations upon racial and religious inclusion, however. Most die or are rendered invisible through plots that erase them from the national landscape. Interculturalism stresses the individual's rational, conscientious engagement with others, short of forfeiting qualities such as linguistic or religious practices that make her who she is. The demand upon immigrants to be intercultural subjects reinforces notions of modernity and pre-modernity through unequal access to prescribed forms of self-knowledge, self-expression and moral fortitude, however. As the ideological motor behind each storyline, the intercultural chronotope weaves time together with space by (a) inviting movement and new intimacies, though meetings can also spark violence, which must be managed through talk; (b) conflating interior and exterior spaces through dreamscapes that offer moments of significant personal growth; and (c) resolving first-generation immigrant isolation through second-generation immigrant adaptation. As born out by the winning stories, moreover, success or failure of immigrants within the intercultural chronotope correlates with their assigned racial, linguistic and religious identities. I argue that, as textual artefacts of current Spanish ideologies, these stories both reflect and construct the still-emerging, diverse European nation. Like the costumbrista literature of the nineteenth century, these new stories capture not only a moment of social and demographic transformation, but also the identity struggles that come with that change. The fact that amateur writers fail to create fully-integrated North African or Sub-Saharan African characters (in contrast, for example, to Latin American characters) may point to a persistent ideological block in the Spanish imaginary. This pattern is even more compelling given writers’ commitment to interculturalism as a uniting social practice.