Diversity Promotion and Multicultural Inclusion in East Asia

 International Symposium

 “Diversity Promotion and Multicultural Inclusion in East Asia”

 17-18 March 2018

Rikkyo University, Ikebukuro Campus, Tokyo

Organized by  Monash Asia Institute, Monash University & Trans-East-Asia Multiculturalism Project (TEAM)

Supported by Kajima Foundation

In a globalized world in which people’s mobility and accompanying human encounter and exchange have been more and more intensifying, the promotion of diversity in society is a shared key issue. The current promotion of diversity tends to be more economy-driven as business sectors put an emphasis on the enhancement of diversity in terms of women, LGBTIs, and foreign nationals/people of diverse ethnic backgrounds to make the workplace more innovative, productive and globally competitive. The viewpoints on the promotion of diversity for economic activities and cultural perceptions are not identical as the emphasis on the pragmatic utility and inclusive promotion of diversity are often incommensurable. What kind of diversity is being promoted, while not others, is a crucial question. At the same time, it is an open question whether the business-driven stress on the promotion of diversity is entirely unconnected to and has no (unintended) impact on the advancement of socio-cultural inclusion. A wider attention to diversity might involve various social actors such as artists, educators, NGO/NPOs and local administrative agencies together with migrants and ethnic minority communities in ways to positively enhance the social perception of existing and growing ethnic diversity. This conference will critically and innovatively consider whether and how the business-driven promotion of diversity enhances socio-cultural inclusion through comparative examination of and mutual learning from East Asian cases (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong/China) by attending to similar and different experiences and problems of the promotion of diversity in the region The conference also aims to facilitate productive intellectual exchanges among academics, administrators, educators, NGO/NPOs and young cultural performers/practitioners of migrant and ethnic communities over the possibilities and limitations of promoting ethnic diversity as a positive asset to enrich society. We expect that the participants will develop relational networks and collaboratively make policy recommendations including the design of a public pedagogical program to advance social praxis of promoting diversity in an inclusive manner across borders and sectors.

Key issues to be discussed are as follows but not exclusive to others:

– How diversity is discussed in relation to the enhancement of (business) creativity and enrichment of society and what kinds of diversity is promoted, while others are not.

– Whether and how business-driven promotion of diversity eventually stimulates the discussion and practice of enhancing cultural inclusion in society

– How various local actors (policy makers, administrative agencies, education sectors and NGO/NPOs etc.) that work with multicultural issues engage with diversity and what kinds of strategies are taken; and how people and/or communities concerned (migrants and ethnic minorities) are involved in it

– How the positive image of diversity is and can be envisioned and visualized?

– What kind of social learning programs and events will effectively promote the understanding of the significance of diversity to make society inclusive?

– How can we facilitate collaboration across national borders?

– How the discussion in this conference is relevant and applicable to the project of Tokyo Olympic 2020 whose slogan is “unity in diversity”?

We are inviting proposals for paper presentations on these issues, although proposals that are in other ways relevant to the topic will also be considered. We welcome a proposal by non-academic persons or organizations that engage with the promotion of cultural diversity. We accept proposals either in English or Japanese. Please send your paper proposals (less than 200 words) with your affiliation details and e-mail address no later than 20 November to: MAI-Enquiries@monash.edu. Please clearly put “Paper proposal for Cultural Diversity” in the subject line. Acceptance of proposals will be notified by early December. Please kindly be advised that we will not be able to offer financial support for participants’ travel costs.

We look very much forward to receiving your proposals!