Cultural and social diversity is a feature of modern European societies. Intensive migration across national borders for work, education and travel as well as changes in the field of work caused by economic crises are affecting people from different cultures in public space and everyday life. Hence, times of economic and political uncertainty in Europe and the modern world require theoretical and empirical reflection and re-conceptualization to contribute to the policy development that tackles stereotypical images of representatives of “other” cultures (in terms of nationality, ethnicity, social structure etc.) that work/study and live in the neighbourhoods, shared spaces.
The conference will address recent theoretical developments on cultural and social diversity, cultural “mélange” and cultural nationalisms in modern European societies. It aims to examine new empirical evidence on the relationship between the cultural and social diversity of European societies in public and private spaces in cities and rural areas, at education and work and the ways it is portrayed in experiences of individuals on the one hand and the public and media on the other.
The Conference will explore methodological advances in biographical and qualitative methods of research and data analysis. Using examples from narrative, biographical, ethnographical research it will aim to identify perceptions and factors that can aggravate or ease senses of insecurity on the part of individuals and institutions from various perspectives: professional, social, cultural, religious and reflect on the ways this sense of insecurity challenges the foundations of cultural diversity in modern European societies.
Those phenomena are not new, they have been described and analysed by the classics like Thomas and Znaniecki in their study on migration, social disorganization, changing attitudes and values discussed from the individual/biographical perspective by analysing biographical data. It is timely to revisit their ideas on the centenary of the publication of the book “Polish Peasant in Europe and America”. The ESA RN03 midterm conference aims at reflecting on the described contemporary social processes and phenomena from the present perspective but at the same time revisiting the inspiring thoughts of the classics. Are there any parallels in the analysis? What lessons have been learnt?