OBJECTIVES AND EXPECTATIONS
Diversity in Israel and Germany- German Israeli Young Researchers‘ Exchange on Diversity
This interdisciplinary project aimed at exploring how different dimensions and intersections of diversity are conceptualized, negotiated, represented and applied in public and in academic discourses in Israel and Germany through a research based student exchange.
In recent years, the use of the term diversity has advanced in academic and public debates about the constitution of modern societies. Diversity is defined by a series of criteria such as age (generation), sex (gender, sexual orientation), race (national or ethnic origin), place of birth or of origin (migration experience), physical/mental ability (health status), language (linguistic capital), class (socio-economic status), space (urban vs. rural, center vs. periphery), and religion (cultural heritage). The social relevance of these categories has varied across time and space in Israel and Germany. Tensions between notions of heterogeneity and homogeneity have shaped the shifting boundaries that define educational, political and social approaches to diversity in both countries. It is in this context that we looked at processes of exclusion and inclusion. Hence our project discussed questions such as the following:
What are “narratives of diversity” in both countries? How is diversity mediated and negotiated in contemporary Israel and Germany? What are the scientific and methodological challenges trying to capture aspects of diversity? How do the young scholars conceptualize their empirical work in this field? How do they position themselves as researchers and citizens within those societal discourses?
Our aim was to enable participants to further develop their professional academic abilities through the encounter of the Israeli-German context with a broad social political perspective and educational reality. Likewise, to expand the understanding of differences and similarities within the diversity landscape and its multiple implications on society, as well as the multiple perspectives on diversity within Israel and Germany. Moreover, we aimed at connecting a community of learners and establishing academic contacts between members of the group around the issue of diversity, as well as preparing a common ground for future collaborations between the German and Israeli partners.