Three topics have been selected for the empirical studies on identity's redefinition and strategies of migrants and minorities, men and women, in a comparative perspective between Europe and Latin America, which will be the topics of the second, third and fourth summer schools in Italy:

Migration and changes in family relationships and gender relations

This is a crucial topic in migration studies both for the private dimension and for the public one, touching to the issue of gender roles in different cultures. Moreover, the transnational perspective has broadened the analysis to the social relations of kinship, transcending the framework of the family unit and deconstructing its universality, and the universality of the roles. Transnational maternity and transnational families have, in fact, become a crucial research topic. In this respect, the comparative research between Europe and Latin America is crucial for offering empirical evidence of these hypotheses, but also for the refutation of the supposed universality of models that respond to particular local realities.

The role of religion in the field of intercultural relations

One of the most sensitive issues in matter of governance of cultural diversity concerns the role of religion in intercultural relations. The literature is so vast and varied, ranging from positions defending the incompatibility of certain religious patterns with the values of democratic societies (Huntington, 19937) to positions defending interreligious dialogue. However, beyond the ideological positions on the issue, the proposal will place the focus on the underlying causes of these social representations and, especially, in the deployed mechanisms for reproduction and dissemination in different contexts. Latin America is an especially challenging context for analysing the role of religion in society and policies, starting from the development of the Pentecostals (evangelic movement), the surviving weight of the theology of Liberation (and of the catholic base communities) and the coming back of indigenous Cosmo visions.

Political participation and civil rights

Latin American is an interesting context to study political participation and representation in terms of minorities and disenfranchised groups. Social movements have become active around different issues, many involving minorities rights, which is the case of indigenous movements, afro-descendant movements, women, environmentalist, among others.1

Since the 1990s, laws were approved to secure a quota for women, usually between 10% and 30%, which had translated into more representation of women in the national and provincial legislatures. Moreover, some countries also have envisioned the representation of ethnic minorities (usually indigenous and afro-descendants) or emigrants. With increasing emigration, countries have started to develop engagement policies geared towards giving rights to those living abroad. These experiences altogether are translating in new developments for interculturality and intercultural practices in the involved Latin American countries and could be example for European countries. The workshop will focus on the new logics of indentity constructions for immigrants and indigenous people towards interculturality.

Theoretically, Latin America is a continent with autonomous and indigenous knowledge production and both Europe and Latin American would certainly win with cross-fertilization of ideas and discussions. Latin America has been has been cutting in the generation of and critical knowledge about cultural diversity, with a different lens in relation to indigenous populations, Afro-descendants and disenfranchised people. Walsh, Quijano, Mignolo, Turbino, Sousa Santos have generated a body of critical knowledge and decolonial theories which ought to be applied in Europe, mainly to analyse cultural diversity policies.


1 See AVRITZER, L. , Democracy and the Public Space in Latin America, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2002. (et Revisioning Latin American Social Movements, Boulder,Col. West-view Press, 1998).


Academic production