Europe - and in particular European cities - are rapidly diversifying due to processes of migration, the refugee flows but also the emergence of second and third generation ethnic minorities. In these cities the native majority groups - e.g. the native Flemish in Antwerp - will become a minority next to other minorities. What will the impact of such processes be on society and the relations between individuals and groups? More in particular we will discuss the relevance of European identity and European values as potentially newly emerging collective and inclusive narratives in these highly diverse contexts.
The goal of this course is to broaden the knowledge and understanding of issues such as ‘European' values, identities and cultures in diversifying societies. The course will focus on discussing theories that focus on the fundamental transformations that European societies are experiencing and how they are engaging with these phenomena. Students are supposed to be able to discuss these issues from a variety of standpoints and to apply these insights and the methodologies discussed in their own research.
The first part of the course focuses on specific theories that address the issue of values, identity, social cohesion and equality in diversifying societies. More in particular, questions on the differences and similarities between value orientations, life goals and aspirations and strategies between various social groups will be discussed.
The second part of the course focuses on specific case studies that address the issues of European identity, Multiculturalism, Cosmopolitanism and specific controversies related to the EU project.