Multiculturality and Interculturality: Qualitative Analysis of the Perspective of Focus Group Participants


This work examines the textual content of the focus group interviews conducted as part of the project “Multiculturality and education in Pontifical universities and formation communities of consecrated life”. More specifically, it focuses on the first focus group, with an in-depth analysis of the question “In your opinion, what is the difference between multiculturality and interculturality?”. The aim is to inves- tigate, by means of qualitative content analysis methods, participants’ under- standing and perspective of the two key concepts of this project, which are often misinterpreted or interchangeably misused. Results will show that participants have a well-clear idea of the concept of multiculturality, seen as a matter of fact of cultural plurality and diversity, and characterized by a definite and static nature. They also recognize that a multicultural plurality provides an opportunity for indi- vidual growth, but it must be regulated, especially at a communicative level, to allow for a mutually tolerant and respectful coexistence, without necessarily inter- fering with other cultures. On the contrary, in an intercultural context, it emerges the key role of union and mutual sharing, with a strong emphasis on individuals’ cultural transformation. In this regard, this contribution will bring light to a hetero- geneous and often conflicting perspective about the intensity of such transfor- mation. More specifically, to what extent individuals should preserve or lose their own cultural identities, as a result of the intercultural transformation process?

Book Chapter in Education in Multiculturality, Education to Interculturality. Urbaniana University Press, Città del Vaticano ISBN 978-88-401-9061-7