Our Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation held last week (6 July 2012) a national symposium on 'multiculturalism' which attempted to connect theory and academic research to policy making and community practice.
Indeed, and whilst the speakers from academe reflected on such concepts as feminism, cosmopolitanism, liberal demacratic theoy and social justice, a panel with prominent policy and community representatives provided amlple pointers as to where the real gaps lie in this often polarised debate.
I have just arrived in Ottawa, Canada, as a visiting professor hosted by the Audio Visual Lab for the Study of Culture and Society, and only a few hours ago delivered my first public seminar about the transnational practices of migrants in multicultural societies.
Yesterday, I was interviewed by local radios on the broader topic of migrant settlement policies and what Canada and Australia had in common and also where their respective policies differed.
However, the most interesting media interaction happened to me in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, a leading newspaper here.
What was rather surprising about the interview is the reporter’s questions about the very contentious issue of domestic law and whether this needed to be amended in some cases to take into account cultural practices of the specific migrant communities.