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31.12.2018 15:38 Alter: 18 days

Urban Diversities

Call for Papers

Theme: Urban Diversities
Subtitle: Exclusion and Inclusion of Immigrants and Refugees at the Local Level
Type: 20th International Conference on Diversity in Organizations,
Communities & Nations
Institution: University of Milan
Location: Milan (Italy)
Date: 10.–12.6.2020
Deadline: 10.5.2020

Special Focus

Urban Diversities: Exclusion and Inclusion of Immigrants and Refugees
at the Local Level

Local contexts are a crucial site for the management of ethnic,
cultural, and religious diversities. It is at the local level – first
in large metropolitan areas, but increasingly also in medium-sized
cities and small towns – that what has been termed “superdiversity”
becomes a crucial challenge. Thus, in an increasingly differentiated
array of local contexts, cultural and religious diversity must be
understood, negotiated, and managed vis-à-vis the assimilative
pressures and expectations of receiving societies. Whilst in the last
decades of the twentieth century, multiculturalism was the prevailing
framework within which these issues were framed, today – at least in
Europe – they are inserted in a predominant scenario of
“multiculturalism backlash.” For this reason, the correspondent
authorities responsible for the policies of immigration are forced to
define new frames, narratives, and action guidelines.

Among these responsible authorities, local governments are
increasingly involved in the elaboration and mainly in the
implementation of migration policies. The “multilevel governance of
immigration” and the “venue shopping approach” converge in
highlighting the growing role of local authorities in producing and
implementing immigration policies, both on the control and the
integration sides of foreign sojourners. Furthermore, the
mobilizations by civil society actors, in favor or against migrants
and asylum seekers, occur mainly at the local level; as well as the
mobilizations by migrants themselves, and their struggles for
recognition and rights that particularly take place at the urban
local level.

Decisions about the settlement of reception facilities, the admission
of migrants to local services, and the construction of worship sites
for minority religions involve local authorities. Cities of refuge
(also called “Sanctuary cities” mainly in the American context) and
cities of rejection are the two sides of the spectrum of different
political orientations and policies. Hence, from a social point of
view, it is mainly at the local level that ethnic, cultural, and
religious diversities can be accepted, promoted, or rejected,
allowing or hindering migrants to perform in public events and become
part of the urban life. In recent years, the issue of the acceptance
and inclusion has attracted much public debate, and also in this case
the role of local authorities and urban societies has become crucial.
In this framework, the conference will discuss the following issues:

- The role of local authorities in immigration policy making and
- The reception of different categories of migrants – including
 asylum seekers – at the local level;
- Modalities of acceptance and/or refusal of ethnic, cultural, and
 religious diversities;
- Mobilizations and activities in favor of – or against – immigrants
 and asylum seekers at the local level by the civil society;
- The performance of diversity in the urban life through music,
 dance, fine arts, food, etc.: the “aesthetics of multiculturalism”;
- Struggles for recognition: migrants’ activism and political
 mobilizations at the local level;
- Immigration and local diversity: how the above mentioned issues
 could be influenced by specific local contexts of reception (e.g.
 big and medium-sized cities vs. small and peripheral contexts)?
- The role of private companies, foundations, and NGOs in promoting
 the integration of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through
 local programs of corporate social responsibility.


The 20th International Conference on Diversity in Organizations,
Communities & Nations features research addressing the following
annual themes:

* Theme 1: Identity and Belonging

Individuals ascribe meanings to their personae, or meanings are
ascribed to them by others and through processes of social
categorization. Sometimes these processes are classified as
exclusionary, either on a person to person affective basis, or
through systemic or structural exclusion—hence classifications such
as racism, sexism. At other times, inclusive remedies are prescribed
to the injustices of differences, including for instances equity,
access, multiculturalism, tolerance and recognition.

- Dimensions of individual differences (ethnicity, gender, race,
 socio-economic, indigenous, religion, sexual orientation,
- Cultural history, oral history and cultural ‘renaissance’
- Dynamics of diversity (inclusion, exclusion, assimilation,
 integration, pluralism)
- Social justice, injustice, and redress
- Media representations of identities or groups
- Intercultural relations
- Experiences with “the other” (tourism, travel, exchanges, aid
- Exclusionary ‘isms’: racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism,
 nationalism, capitalism
- The ‘-isms’ with agendas: feminism, anti-racism, multiculturalism,

* Theme 2: Education and Learning in a World of Differences

The varied backgrounds and attributes of learners have an enormous
impact on their engagement with learning and their educational and
social outcomes. Learner differences cross dimensions that are
material (social class, geographical locale and family), corporeal
(age, race, sex and sexuality, and physical and mental capacities)
and symbolic (culture or ethnicity, language, gender, affinity and
persona). In this thematic area, we explore strategies for
negotiating these differences, from the microdynamics of pedagogy, to
the agendas of curriculum, the nuances of assessment, the
organizational structures of the educational institution and its
relations with the communities it services.

- Dimensions of individual differences in learning
- Inclusive education
- Educational policies and practices related to diversity
- Curricular and instructional frameworks for addressing diversity
- Educating teachers, administrators, community members in diversity
- The role of ethics in education
- Language diversity and learning new languages
- Service or experiential learning and intercultural understanding
- Multicultural, cross-cultural, international and global education

* Theme 3: Organizational Diversity

‘Managing diversity’ has emerged as a distinct agenda in the business
and economics of diversity. This focus encompasses organizational
diversity in private, public, and community organizations, including
workplace culture, recruitment and promotion, human resource
development, team work and relationships with diverse clienteles.
Includes explorations of the impact of government and regulatory
policies on the workplace. Explores the local and global diversity,
as well as the full range of issues of diversity arising in
workplaces, from gender, to sexual orientation, to culture and
language, to disability.

- Management: employment policies and practices
- Beyond legislative and regulatory compliance: disabilities,
 workplace harassment, discrimination
- Design issues related to access and accommodation of diverse needs
- Mediation: cultural assumptions and practical outcomes
- Markets and diversity: niche markets, customization and service
- Leveling the playing field: global economics, fair trade,
 outsourcing, and equal opportunity

* Theme 4: Community Diversity and Governance

This theme examines the processes of governance and democracy in
diverse communities. It explores the consequences of global human
movement (e.g., immigrants, refugees) on local communities, and the
development in response of multicultural policies and practices. It
also investigates community self-governance and community capacity

- Democracy and diversity: questions of representation and voice
- Defining human necessities and insuring access: housing, medicine,
 food, water
- Human rights, civil rights
- ‘Mainstreaming’ or ‘integration’ versus services based on unique
 cultural identities
- The politics of community leadership: challenges for local
- The globalization of human rights and local sovereignty


If you would like to present, start by submitting a proposal. You
will need the following: presentation type, short/long descriptions,
keywords, focus, themes, and biographical information:

Proposals are generally reviewed and responded to within 3-5 weeks.
To ensure a response regarding acceptance in time to take advantage
of the registration deadlines, be sure to submit you proposal at
least 5 weeks prior to the registration deadline.


University of Milan
Via Festa del Perdono, 7
20122 Milan

Conference website: