As we observed, being together does not necessarily bring about inclusion. Personal competences need to be developed through education. This is particularly the case in our globalised era
where the nature of interconnectedness and relatedness between human societies and human beings has changed. Ethnicity and family links are not the basis on which we construct our group ties any longer. Today, many people feel related to others with whom they share a symbolic group membership, for example sport teams or role model stars. Furthermore, we are virtually connected with people all around the world thanks to digital devices, and some of these relationships may be more meaningful than real world face-to-face ones. Consequently, we also observe a shift in the definition of the “Other” that goes along with the evolution of the dichotomy “us vs. them”.
All these reflections represent the background on which we must build and define important concepts such as interculturalism, intercultural dialogue, intercultural and democratic competences
, and last but not least, “global competence.” Interculturalism has been conceived as an alternative to the concept of multiculturalism, with which it shares some fundamentals but differs in one main characteristic: interculturalism implies intercultural dialogue which aims at a bidirectional and respectful exchange between different cultures. Intercultural competence can be defined as “the capacity to respond successfully to a type of situation which represents tasks, difficulties or challenges for the individual, where the response requires the application of a complex set of values, attitudes, knowledge, understanding, skills and behaviours”. Namely, those values, attitudes, skills and knowledge are defined as democratic competences and described in the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
All these concepts are fundamental and are required for dealing with the challenges faced by today’s culturally diverse societies, which in Europe are the main consequence of recent migration flows.
- Consider how this concept of “super diversity
” is connected with the concept of personal identity we have analysed above.