Intercultural Mediation in Europe: Narratives of Professional Transformation

This book contains multiple narratives of intercultural mediation made by academics and professionals across Europe. Contributions from Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Poland capture the voices of experts and non-experts heard at the International Conference, «Enhancing the Skills and Identity of Cultural Mediators in a Multicultural Europe» (ESΙ-CM 2014), organized by the SONETOR project. The diversity of theories, policies, providers, and services associated with mediation testify the ambivalence and monocultural assumptions that surround this process in pluralistic societies.

Across the Atlantic: African Immigrants in the United States Diaspora

This book offers a fresh multidisciplinary perspective towards an understanding of African immigration to the United States diaspora, by documenting for the first time, an empirical analysis of how media and literary portrayal of the United States create impressions of America and thus the desire to migrate. It expands on how pre-departure characteristics including socialization experiences, religious traditions, and practices such as African foods, cultural festivals and African languages impact African immigrants’ adaptation and coping mechanisms amid challenges at the country of destination. It brings to the fore how African immigrants’ ethnic group identities at the country of origin determine ethnic relations and cultural integration in the society of encounter. Additionally, it explicates how the social organization of the African family influences remittance flows. Finally, the book elucidates on how Africans in Diasporas impact the reconstruction of homelands’ political identities as well as the effect of African Diaspora cyber-citizenship and cyber political activities on the conception of African national identity.

Extraordinary Lives of Ordinary People: Oral Histories of (Mis)Educational Opportunities in Challenging Notions of Achievement

In this edited collection, we privilege the use of oral histories to grapple with the complexities of the patterns and legacies of educational (under)achievement. The oral histories featured underscore the power of missed or stolen opportunities as marked by one’s race, gender, and socioeconomic class. As historical subjects shaped by the particular time and place of their early childhood and adult experiences (such as Jim Crow segregation in the South, Cold War, civil rights, and women’s movement in the United States and Australia), they note the strict racial language and gendered codes that inhibited the full range of not only their educational potential, but their full human potential. In spite of such structural means aimed at failure, the narrators also reveal a pattern of educational and community achievement, broadly conceived, to pave future legacies for success. Where quantitative studies fall short, these histories necessarily embed the rich layers of the processes by which we live and through stories. Stories mark our past, present, and future. Insomuch as they create the sum of all our parts, it also provides important placeholders to understand the context of who and why we are.

Gender-linked Variation across Languages

The study of language and gender has been greatly advanced by focusing on the local and the particular. Now is the time to explore what more we can learn by looking at gendered speakers’ use of typologically different languages. How do the resources provided by each language affect the ways in which women and men construct gendered identities in their cultures and communities? What resources do the languages provide at various linguistic levels? What frameworks account for gender-linked variation in specific local contexts? As we advance our understanding of locally constructed masculinities and femininities, these questions impel the studies brought together in this volume, which investigate Maori, Japanese, Hebrew, Tamil, Chinese, Korean, English, Arabic, Sinhala, and Ekegusii. Written for scholars of linguistics, this collection illustrates the current state of understanding of the interaction of language and social gender, and it suggests directions for future research.