Date: June 17th, 2016

Location: Associació d’Amics de la UAB. Torre Vila-Puig. Campus UAB. Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès)

Time: 9:45h – 15:00h

The main purpose of this meeting is to promote academic exchange between GRITIM-UPF ( and ISOR-UAB (, two research groups in Catalonia working on issues related to ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity. Professors, post-docs, and doctoral candidates from each group will present their current research, and each presentation will be followed by a general discussion. Through this scholarly exchange, our hope is that presenters receive useful feedback, and that affiliates of each group consider possibilities for future collaboration on topics of mutual interest.

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09:45 – 10:00           

Introductory remarks (Avi Astor, ISOR)


10:00 – 10:30

Presentation of ISOR (Mar Griera)

Presentation of GRITIM (Ricard Zapata-Barrero)


10:30 – 11:30             

Session I:

Darian Heim (GRITIM)

Anna Clot (ISOR)


11:30 – 11:45

Coffee Break


12:00 – 1:00

Session II:

Antonio Montañés (ISOR)

John Palmer (GRITIM)


1:00 – 2:00

Session III:

Ricard Zapata-Barrero (GRITIM)

Avi Astor, Miquel Fernández (ISOR)


2:00 – 3:00 



Session I

Darian Heim (GRITIM)

Voluntariness in Migration and Duties of Integration

 By leaving their homeland voluntarily to settle in another country, people know and accept that they will have to integrate there. This paper analyses the extent, the nature, and concrete implementation of this “voluntariness-integration” link in state policies. It proceeds thus: after elaborating on how voluntariness stretches over the whole process of migration rather than solely the moment of departure, it suggests an alternative-based, gradual, and material understanding of voluntariness (section I). It then discusses a selection of concrete policies involving immigrant investors and skilled labour (section II). There, the wealthy and skilled – the more voluntary – have to integrate less rather than the reverse. This leads to a dilemma which I shall elaborate on in section III: either voluntariness matters or it does not. Defending the former, I argue that equality of treatment also applies to immigrants and hence potential future citizens.


Anna Clot-Garrell (ISOR)

Religion in motion: A sociological study of contemporary transformations of a monastery

 In recent years, various scholars have observed how in a context of crisis of institutional and traditional religion monasticism is experiencing a period of innovation and unexpected popularity (Jonveaux et al., 2014). In the vein of this evidence, this paper examines contemporary transformations of a Benedictine monastery of women, with a focus on changes related to the logics of the monastic institution and its public projection. Focusing on a singular monastery in the Catalan monastic map, it aims to illustrate how a traditional, collective and highly institutionalised religious institution such as a monastery transforms and relates to contemporary religious scenario by actively refracting rather than passively reflecting its distinct characteristics. Using an ethnographic methodology and theoretically engaging the empirical data with diverse insights from the sociology of religion, this paper analyzes the adaptative processes of “detotalisation”, “retraditionalisation” and “spiritualisation” that have enabled the monastery to conserve its plausibility while maintaining its distinctive character. The results presented illuminate the relevance and the interest of monasticism as a strategic context of study that condenses and, in turn, manifests central issues to current debates on religion in late-modern times.


Session II

Antonio Montañés (ISOR)

Contesting Culture and Identities at Gitano-Christian Churches in Madrid

In this article we show how adversarial gitano-charismatic churches in the city of Madrid vie for hegemony in the gitano religious field. This research is based on data gathered through ethnographic fieldwork on the “Iglesia Evangélica de Filadelfia” (IEF), a hegemonic gitano religious institution present throughout Spain, and a challenger-church, the “Centro Cristiano Vino Nuevo el Rey Jesús” (Vino Nuevo). The main thesis advanced in the article is that both churches use Pentecostalism as a means of self-managing cultural transformation and offer new models of ethnicity that compete with previous ethnic ideals. Whereas the IEF ethnic model is opposite to traditional and secular ethnic ideals, the Vino Nuevo ethnic model rejects both.


John Palmer (GRITIM)

Border controls, benefits, and rights: How states shape migration patterns in a world of multiple origins and destinations

This paper analyzes the extent to which migrants choose destinations based on the economic, social and political rights they stand to receive in them. We estimate a gravity-type model of migration flows using: (1) annual data on international migration flows and foreign population stocks in 30 OECD countries from 223 countries of origin for the period 1980-2010; (2) indices of social, economic, and political rights for migrants arriving to OECD countries from every source country for each of these years; (3) data from the OECD Social Expenditure Database SOCX 1980-2010 and (4) indices on the restrictiveness of immigration policy. We take into account differences in eligibility criteria by country of origin, and we use time lags and IV estimators to control for potential endogeneity.


Session III

Ricard Zapata Barrero (GRITIM)

Mainstreaming interculturalism in cities: Policy paradigm change and formation

Mainstreaming’s conceptual core refers to incorporating needs and issues of a particular into a general service or system and into all aspects of an organisation’s policy and practice. Applied to diversity management, it essentially means an overhaul of how we have been doing things in the past, to include a new policy perspective in all we do. It is here that Interculturalism comes to the mainstreaming debate, since it seeks basically to promote contact zones among people in diversity contexts.  And the dominant policy paradigm of diversity management of “how we have been doing things in the past” has been multiculturalism. The recent debate between Multiculturalism vs Interculturalism illustrates probably that we are witnessing a process of policy paradigm change. A policy paradigm has the role to frame policy making and action, and we cannot deny that interculturalism has already attracted many cities and local policy makers all over Europe and elsewhere. At this stage of the policy and academic debate, it is probably difficult, and even adventurous to say what factor(s) provokes the attraction of this policy paradigm, but the fact is that we are in front of two policy trends that coincide in time and space and  even reinforce its legitimacy each other. That is the intercultural policy paradigm is justified because it has mainstreaming as the main legitimating principle, and mainstreaming applied at diversity management immigration-related leads naturally to interculturalism. The magnetism between mainstreaming and intercultural policy paradigm seems then to be self-evident, but probably this needs to be articulated within the context of policy paradigm change that I would like to introduce. In this scholarly framework the argument I would like to put forward is that in diversity management migration -related we are in a process of policy paradigm change, going from a multicultural to an intercultural policy paradigm, and that mainstreaming contributes to legitimize this process.


 Avi Astor and Miquel Fernández (ISOR)

Cultural Brokers in the Religious Domain

In contexts of immigration, individuals who have the knowledge and capabilities to act as cultural brokers between migrants and their communities of settlement play a key role in processes of integration and accommodation. Yet relatively little has been written about the figures that emerge as cultural brokers and the growing “intercultural mediation industry”. This presentation offers insight into the biographies, activities, and trajectories of cultural brokers, with a focus on processes of mediation in the religious domain in Barcelona. We show how assuming the role of cultural broker is made possible by the accumulation of different forms of cultural and social capital, as well as how participating in the “intercultural mediation industry” may open up opportunities for individuals to improve their social and economic standing. We also analyze the role that brokers play in influencing how both migrants and their host communities mutually adapt.