Oratie. De culturele opsluiting voorbij. Nieuw intercultureel bestuur


  • Sawitri Saharso


Contained in the nowadays dominant view that migrants and their integration constitute a first order social risk because of their different moral values is the idea that migrants, women in particular, are passive victims of incomprehensible cultural imperatives. Discussion of various cases of deep moral diversity, e.g. sex selective abortion or female genital cutting leads to the conclusion that even in these cases women are driven by motives we can understand. Social norms can make it rational for individuals, Western and non-Western alike, to want things, which are harmful to them or their daughters. This opens up possibilities for cross-cultural solidarity. Taking into account the social circumstances that incite people to unwanted behaviour allows for more effective intervention than a mere cultural explanation. Governments try to promote the integration of migrants. European research on the Islamic headscarf suggests that countries have their own historical traditions of including citizens into the nation. These concern not only the inclusion of migrants, but broader categories of citizens and correspond with nation-specific institutional arrangementswhich cannot, however, be reduced to one underlying national system. What policy best promotes the integration of migrants still has to be researched, preferably through a comparative institutional approach.