Tensions between the majority population and immigrants from various ethnic backgrounds, seems to be escalating in several European countries. This is subject to much concern. Stereotypes are significant drivers behind such phenomena as social exclusion and discrimination of ethnic minorities on one side, as well as for some immigrants' reluctance to make closer contact with the majority population. The result is little interaction and thus few opportunities for reconsidering the stereotypes.
Both groups tend to perceive the others as strangers and as members of a homogenous social group. Individual differences within each group as well as between different groups are easily overlooked. Being an outsider as well as an insider, is, however, a common human experience across all social dividers. Articulating common experiences of being a stranger can therefore be a fruitful point of departure for challenging stereotypes and creating dialogues between the majority and minority population. This might in turn create new opportunities for cross-cultural adult learning in a variety of contexts. The Stranger project wants to turn the common human experience of being a stranger into an opportunity for positive dialogue between marginalized groups and the majority population. Stories will be collected and exchanged between the four partner countries: Italy, Norway, Turkey and UK and used to develop dialogues in the local settings where the partners operate.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.