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Intercultural Interaction

The UCL Grand Challenge of Intercultural Interaction (GCII)

Diversity is a defining feature of our societies. In the 21st century, pluralism has begun to impact deeply on all aspects of cultural, social and political life. Labour migration, mobility, media and ICT advances, as well as international trade, aw and governance, have increased not only the ethnic, linguistic and religious heterogeneity of contemporary societies, but also the scale and complexity of relationships between individuals, communities and states.

If living with and interacting across cultural difference has thus become a fact of contemporary life, it also provides political and intellectual challenges. Whether understood as an integral dimension of social life that defines and sustains collectivity; as symbols, values, meanings and modes of life; or as intellectual and creative expressions – culture is now a major factor and cause of controversy in our globalising world.

What role culture plays for inclusion or exclusion in diverse societies, how it may legitimise or disrupt attitudes and representations, how its educational, diplomatic or emancipatory capital is used, or how it influences economic development, have become pressing questions for our times.

UCL GCII works to mobilises expertise on the complexity of relations between individuals and groups from different ethnic, religious and linguistic backgrounds and heritage; between states, regions and civil societies; between intellectual and artistic traditions and developments. Ultimately, it seeks to enhance the impact of UCL’s research activity in these areas to influence intellectual debate, shape policy development and engage the wider public.

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