GEMIC / about the project

A critical approach to the concept of intercultural interaction

We will undertake the task of researching and analyzing how cultural groups –emigrants, immigrants, and natives- in societies of origin, transit and destination interact (clash or collaborate) in order to produce common cultural products in different areas, such as media, education, religion, urban spaces and movements, violence and family relations. The tripartite conceptual and methodological approach of Ge.M.IC will call for a departure from the mainstream integration and multiculturalist approaches, where interactions between migrant-minority and national majority cultures are defined in terms of political representation and community cohesion , and a move towards an intercultural approach, which entails the possibility of much more «proactive engagements between cultures, including a preparedness to see conflict not only as an inevitable but a creative process». Ge.M.IC will be based on a critical concept of intercultural interaction as a social space of mutual and unequal exchanges amongst actors defined, in accordance with the intersectional approach, not only in terms of ethnic origin (i.e. natives, migrants, citizens), but also by multiple belongings based on gender, ethnic origin, race, age, social class, educational background etc.

This approach will not be grounded on traditional definitions of culture as a close system of values, customs and beliefs formed within a specific territorial space and circumscribed within clearly identified borders that separate it from other cultures Instead of being conceived as distinct and autonomous wholes, cultures will be defined in terms of cultural complexity developed through mutual influences, exchanges of ideas and conflict between social groups within and across established borders. In this context, it will not be important to frame research questions on the binary relationship between a dominant majority culture (usually identified with the nation or the state) and minority cultures (associated with migrant and other minorities) but to pose questions on the dynamic interrelationships between porous cultures and the intersections between the global, the national and the local in the on-going processes of cultural formation. Adopting a critical approach to the concept of intercultural interactions, will enable Ge.M.IC researchers to explore the relationship between gender and migration in a new context within which emphasis will be placed on identifying forms and practices of hospitality and resistance within the spaces of intercultural interaction as well as the prospects of intercultural dialogue and cooperation.


• To produce a state-of-the-art contribution to the literature on gender, migration and intercultural relations, which will shed light on diverse cultural, historical, political, social, psychological, educational and economic factors, which facilitate or prohibit peaceful coexistence of different cultures.
• To contribute to the ongoing European debate and policy making efforts to construct effective policies and institutions, which would manage cultural diversity and mobility and promote intercultural dialogue and cooperation at the local, national and European level.
• To examine and evaluate differences and similarities in the practices of intercultural interaction between new, old and prospective European member states.
• To enhance European debate on mobility and diversity and on the prospects of intercultural dialogue and cooperation by using all the advantages of an intercultural, interdisciplinary consortium in order to explore the theoretical and policy implications of a broad range of social spaces commonly separated into distinct fields of expertise.