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The Strength of Culture for Development

Why Culture Matters in International Cooperation

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Edited By Pascaline Gaborit

On the global scale, the challenges surrounding development are massive and complex, as inequalities in living conditions between the richest and poorest countries become greater. Development is a global challenge on a par with the financial crisis and environmental concerns. The participation of local communities and towns in development programmes may result from a desire for influence at an international level, rather than the idea that they can bring some measure of stability, like the large NGOs.
In this context, culture remains an omnipresent factor. Indeed, culture takes on a multifaceted front for it is not solely limited to the organisation of cultural activities or the protection of heritage, but also about the values, significance, and everyday actions of human communities. It contributes to the well-being of local populations. Using culture as a transversal tool to solve the development issues means tackling those issues from a different angle: bringing solutions to some multicultural questions that exist in rich countries.
This book brings together a selection of articles by researchers and experts in this area from a wide variety of backgrounds, disciplines and countries.
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Integration of Migrants in Harlow

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Graham PEARMAN

Policy Development Officer, Harlow Council

Introduction

Social cohesion and the wellbeing of local inhabitants are central to the priorities and good governance of local authorities. These central themes are not likely to be addressed if the relevant policies are not designed against a realistic picture of the communities’ needs and reflective of the environment in which they operate. That is why it is of primary concern, for administrations and decision makers, to be provided with accurate surveys and figures about the population. The fluctuation of migration changes and their sometimes rapid evolutions, as well as the sometimes unpredicted cultural patterns of integration means that ethnic minorities and migrant communities often become a population group less likely to be properly represented in the design of social policies. Therefore there is a need to inquire into the common dynamics of these groups, if there are, and identify what tangible and intangible factor affect their integration paths (or prevent them).

This paper explores the dynamics of integrating emerging immigrant communities with a particular focus on the role of culture (in terms of government policy, community activities and indigenous cultural norms). Official census records will be used in conjunction with political discourse, media reports, academic literature, structured interviews and a case study to provide a coherent picture on the role of culture in integrating emerging immigrant communities. The case study will focus on the new town of Harlow, Essex – with a particular...

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