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?

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 does integration means to me

1 comment

Well, I should maybe start by pointing out that I prefer the word inclusion over integration. I think that the majority society should be open and be ready to welcome differences, rather to try to integrate them in its way of life.
Beside that note, I think that dialogue should start mostly in a bottom up direction. People must have the chance to meet, dialogue and work together to build an effective multicultural society. I'm all for the participatory approach, on this matter.
In my job, I often see that organizations relate to participation as "refugees are attending the classes/courses that we where offering to them" and not as building the courses and projects together. I'm afraid that many times countries do the same on the matter of integration/inclusion, giving non negotiable tools to migrants to become a part of the society. I would like this mentality to change and for societies to start up dialogues with the different communities in order to understand the resources that each of them need in order to find their own place in a Country.


over 1 year ago

I like your choice of the word inclusion over integration. It is a more gracious expression of the process. The aim is ultimately an inclusive society.

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