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Rethinking 'Us' & 'Them': Integration and Diversity in Europe

Chapters 3 › Unit 3: What does 'integration' mean to you? View instructions Hide instructions

What does 'integration' mean to you?

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Tell us: What does 'integration' mean to you?

In this chapter, we've provided you with a fundamental understanding of the various facets of integration and how the debate and approaches vary in Europe and Canada. While it's important to understand how governments manage (or don't manage) this process, integration is something that doesn't start and stop with policy. That's why we have included views from those working in the field, either supporting or circumventing integration policy, as well as voices from the public to get a taste for how people actually understand this term and what ideal they wish for in their societies.

Now, the 'Us' & 'Them' course community wants to hear from you:

Here are some guiding questions to draw from:

  • What do you think of Prof. Dr. Naika Foroutan's four fields of integration (structural, social, cultural, identificative), and which do you feel are emphasized most in your society?
  • Would you prefer to see integration as a top-down, bottom-up, or another directional process?
  • What ways do your societies and governments support or not support integration and multiculturalism (e.g. through resources like integration courses or symbolically through representation)?
  • Who in your societies needs integrating, from your point of view? Does integration stop with refugees and immigrants?
  • How do you think we can best measure integration? What counts most (e.g. numbers, personal encounters, building networks)?
  • Where do you think Europe is headed when it comes to integration? Do you think Europe can learn something from the Canadian example?

Now what?
Click 'Start in Journal', and fill out the entry. How you do this is up to you: You can use just words, or add pictures or links to articles or videos to highlight your point!

Is this journal assignment required?
No! Nothing in our course is 'required', and there are no grades, but we encourage you to reflect on these topics and share if you feel comfortable, so that others in the course can benefit from your experiences.

What Integration means to me.

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I think integration first of all means adaptation and secondly respect. With respect to that, integration should be a top-down process. I believe if a society has their way of living which creates peace and economic progress for its people, immigrants must strive to adapt for the further progress of the society. It is the responsibility then of the leaders and members of the society to provide a welcoming environment and measures that enable immigrants to easily adapt to the laws and way of life of the society. A successful integration process is one that features all the four fields of integration. Nonetheless I believe integration does not stop with immigrants. I believe there should be reverse integration at the early stage of the integration process. It takes time for immigrants to fully adapt to a society's way of life and as a result, the dominant group must at times learn the way of life of the minority for easy communication and corporation. With that, immigrants easily understand the dominant group and how to relate to their needs. The dominant group become aware of areas where immigrants may need time to adapt or may never be able to adapt but still mutually coexist.

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