Multicultural Society

Religion, integration, cultural diversity and radicalization. At VU University anthropologists, organization scientists, sociologists and philanthropy researchers examine the multicultural society. 

The western Islam is not just about integration


Anthropologist Thijl Sunier, professor 'Islam in Europe' at VU University, believes that in western society the research is too much concerned with the integration of Muslims and problems that occur in the process. Muslim youth, city districts and Islamic leaders deserve more attention.
"Religion may well be part of a popular resistance culture, as it is also a part of the modern youth. If you look with a broader scope and study more phenomena, then you will understand more fully what is actually happening among young people and religion", Sunier states in the interview 'Radicalisering is niet het enige'. His research is part of the research programme of Social and cultural Anthropology: Constructing human security in a globalising world.

Management of diversity


Cultural diversity is impossible to ignore in Dutch society. According to Professor of diversity management Halleh Ghorashi that realization should be the basis for a shift in the thinking and actions towards a new Dutch society, in which diversity is not perceived as threatening, but as something normal.

The sociologist Peer Smets studies the role of ethnicity of inhabitants of 'attention districts' in Amsterdam in the formal and informal networks in their neighbourhood. The district's multicultural character creates a gap between the formal alliances of government, business and civil society, and the informal contacts and relationships between neighbours (of different ethnical backgrounds). To merge these networks, plenty of projects are being initiated. Peer Smets studies what ways to connect these networks are successful.

Both Healleh Ghorashi's and Peer Smets' research falls within the research programme of Sociology, called: Participation in Society.

Giving behaviour of non-Western immigrants


Non-Western immigrants do not only donate to Dutch charities, but also to their country of origine. Research by the Center for Philanthropic Studies shows that on average, Turkish, Maroccan and Netherlands Antilleans give as much to charities as people from Dutch origine; people from Surinam origine are more generous. Like Dutch natives, non-Western immigrants donate mainly to ideological organizations, like the church or mosque. Remarkably, those non-Western immigrants who donate to their country of origine are also more generous for charities in the Netherlands. This research is part of the research programme of Philanthropic Studies: Philanthropy and volunteering in a ‘civil society’.