Intangible heritage & the museum in an age of superdiversity

Position paper written for the Expert meeting on Museums, Diversity and Intangible Cultural Heritage (8.11.2017 | Rotterdam - The Netherlands) in the context of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Museums Project.

Musea Samenwerking Participatie Stedelijke omgeving Borging Diversiteit Superdiversiteit

In this position paper we focus on the question of how museums can find new roles in a more (ethnically) diversified society. New demographic realities pose challenges for larger conurbations in which museums should also play a role. Not least is the challenge of what English sociologist Steven Vertovec has called the challenge of superdiversity. This refers to a new demographic reality, a diversification of diversity in which city populations are more dynamic than ever before. Where until recently the challenge was mainly restricted to the integration of a limited group of migrants in a dominant ‘white’ heritage discourse, we now see much more diversification in which the notion of majority versus minority cultures is no longer relevant. To name but one example: West-Kruiskade, a district in Rotterdam, the city that hosts our international conference and meeting of experts, presents us with more than 160 ethnicities from countries all over the world, migrated to Europe for a variety of reasons and with different social, economic and cultural backgrounds.


November 2020

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