Intercultural Mediation in Europe

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Abstract

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. The intellectual trajectory of this book is grounded on the notion that social transformation and cohesiveness can be best served through professional interactivity, reciprocal or peer learning, reflexivity, and collective practice regarding mediation issues. The SONETOR (funded by the EU Lifelong Learning program) constitutes the vehicle for improving the learning quality and ethos of cultural mediators. Its benefits constitute the essence of this book as SONETOR creates an intermediate space of interpersonal, intercultural, and professional communication through the innovative use of social media networking. This enables community members and other stakeholders in Europe to exchange professional and systemic experiences. It also provides a third space, ‘a contact zone’, for peer learning and collective intelligence concerning the mediation process. Finally, this book discusses the role of intercultural mediators and raises the importance of their professionalization and training to secure effectiveness and social legitimacy.