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vol 16 • 2014



Interculturalism, production of knowledge and good living as instituting practices

Xavier Besalú

Traducció : Marina Aparicio Barberán


The negotiation of meaning, the conceptual debate, often may seem annoying and tiresome, but it is absolutely necessary and extremely fertile.

Today we are able to say, for example, that multiculturalism is merely a form of multiculturalism (policy management of cultural diversity on the recognition of formal and real equality of all persons and peoples, and it aspires to live together in peace and freedom) even though, from certain sectors and optics, intended to equate differentialism (a policy that also ensures pseudo-recognition but undoubtedly, it hasn't an horizon of coexistence released). Differentialism is another model of managing cultural diversity preaching preventive and prophylactic separation of people and different peoples, and that results in segregation, in ghettos, in apartheid, reservations… this would be the model of the right-wi ng ext remis t, so booming nowadays in Europe. It is worth it to make it clear to get out of the ongoing theoretical ambiguity that condemns us to a further ambiguous and inconsistent practices.

As Kymlicka explained, we are no longer in the debate between liberals and communitarians; now we know for sure that the liberal-democratic states are not and have never been neutral or indifferent regarding ethnicities, cultural, linguistic or religious of its citizens, and that this structural reality causes and has caused inequalities and injustices against minorities, which must be combated and offset to ensure that all citizens can enjoy a same conditions and expectations. It is not, therefore, privileges or positive discrimination, but real equality for all purposes.

But we're not at the end of the game, because along this historical route those that have opposed directly or have a thousand and one difficulties in recognizing the rights of cultural and national minorities and foreign immigrants have changed subtle their strategy: they are saying now that multiculturalism, i.e. intercultural management policy of the serious and determined cultural diversity, could erode citizen coexistence and fracture social cohesion, as if coexistence and cohesion were a desirable good in itself, regardless is personal and collective cost, and not a dialectical and controversial fruit of freedom and responsibility. There are arguments to disregard, because unfortunately history shows unwanted and unforeseen and unfortunate clashes divisions, although it must be said aloud that countries with official multiculturalism policies are more focused in social integration of immigrants and claims of cultural and national minorities, without being resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

In this issue of Rizoma Freireano we have located in this new context of conceptual clarity and open-mindedness. The four articles in this dossier are contributions that give substance and consistency to knowledge produced from this cross look and open the way to new insights, new practices, to more complex, challenging and enjoyable lives. Antonia Darder explores how the hegemonic verb has masked and hidden realities; Lya Sanudo illustrates how the production of scientific knowledge is the creator of reality and representations, Lysa Taylor and Ignasi Vila enter the educational background and show old and new ways of working, from counter-criticism and pedagogy, for a fairer and better educated society.


N. 16 • 2014

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N. 16 • 2014