• Logo - Universität Frankfurt am Main
  • Logo - University of Toronto

The Role of Institutional Practices for Building Successful Multicultural Societies

Toronto, June 25 & 26, 2012


Goals of the Workshop

This workshop is a follow-on event from the joint conference hosted by UofT and Goethe in Frankfurt in October, 2010, entitled: The University and the City.

The primary goal of the workshop is to strengthen the partnership between researchers at the two institutions as a means of strengthening the overall institutional partnership between the two universities.  UofT has CERIS – The Ontario Metropolis Centre, a consortium of Toronto-area universities and community partners. It is one of five such research centres across Canada established under the Metropolis Project..  GU is in the process of creating the new Institute for Empirical Migration and Integration Research.  Both sister cities of Toronto and Frankfurt work hard to address common issues that arise from their multicultural communities and institutions. The proposed workshop is designed to foster dialogue between researchers as well as city officials and practitioners to discuss current issues that are relevant to both the university and the civil society of Toronto/Canada and Frankfurt/Germany.

Themes of the Workshop

The title of the workshop is: “The Role of Institutional Practices for Building Successful Multicultural Societies.” The workshop will address the following questions:

  • What defines ‘successful’ multicultural societies and what are the social and institutional conditions that sustain them?
  • What precise role do institutions and institutional structures play in multicultural settings, particularly as regards encouraging social cohesion?
  • How do differing institutional responses to cultural diversity affect the well-being of those living in diverse societies?  
  • Can institutional responses to diversity in one country be successfully imported to another, very different, society?

The workshop will explore these questions to gain a better understanding of how core social and political institutions shape outcomes in multicultural contexts. “Success” will be thought of as a variable with multiple dimensions, to both focus attention on particular aspects of immigrant integration and enable learning across different contexts. The workshop will showcase empirical research from different disciplines that investigates the role of institutions in culturally diverse national and municipal contexts.