European Network for Interdisciplinary Research on the Status of Foreigners
The status of foreigners varies considerably from one society to the next. Anthropology – which by nature has the right to analyze multiple highly contrasting models – has until now stayed outside this debate despite the fact that it feeds abundantly upon other disciplines in the social sciences (history, sociology, didactics, political science, etc.). The present project has been in place for several years and aims at stimulating pluridisciplinary discussion by using models built by anthropology and other disciplines in the social sciences to examine the question of foreign status.
In various societies – including Western societies – where different areas like political relations, religion, economics, etc. are distinguished, the overarching ideology is geared towards eliminating the “foreign part” of the foreigner or at least boxing it up into restricted domains. This fact is underlying in both integration and assimilation policies and currently overlooks new ideologies that promote conserving difference and that have never been put into action.
In other societies, which we can tentatively call those where the various domains are not distinguished and which therefore concentrate on the totality of social facts, we see the opposite. The objective here is to preserve the foreign part of some people or certain elements even though this part tends to disappear progressively through social interactions. Therefore, everything plays out as if this part of foreignness was needed by these societies in order to build relations that can be reproduced through time.
The Four Components of the Program
This project thus requires significant pluridisciplinary work. It is for this reason that we collaborate with several specialists of other disciplines in the social sciences with the goal of elaborating the program presented below where each of the four components addresses the topic according to their own approaches:
1. Comparative study of the notion of foreigner: societies that demand foreigners or foreignness. Coordinated by André Iteanu, Stephen Headley, Cécile Barraud, Jos Platenkamp and Jarich Oosten
2. The notion of foreigner seen through the perspective of the schooling of children from minority cultures and the relations between educational institutions and these minorities by analyzing ordinary language, how it is acquired, and its actual uses. Coordinated byAlain Pierrot
3. The status of foreigners in societies from Western and Eastern Europe belonging to or having belonged to diverse types of political units (imperial Russian, Ottoman, French, and now post-colonial powers, or small transborder or insular regions between different countries). Coordinated by Wanda Dressler
4. Explore the polysemy and polyphony of tangible and intangible heritage and its relation with cultural and religious diversity. Coordinated by Saphinaz-Amal Naguib
In addition, since February 2007 the network has been participating in the European Commission’s Eurosphere Program, which brings together 17 European universities and research institutes, and mobilizes the disciplines of political science, ethnology, sociology, psychology, and history in order to build a European public sphere open to diversity.
- Cécile Barraud (CNRS)
- Wanda Dressler (CNRS, LADYSS, University of Paris 10)
- Jean-Claude Galey (EHESS)
- Stephen Headley (CNRS)
- André Iteanu (CNRS)
- Denis Monnerie (Marc Bloch University, Strasbourg)
- Saphinaz-Amal Naguib (University of Oslo)
- Jarich Oosten (University of Leyden)
- Alain Pierrot (Department of education sciences, University of Paris 5)
- Jos Platenkamp (University of Münster)