Theoretical Paradigms: Migrations and Multiculturality
Cod: 42001
Department: DCSG
Scientific area: Sociology
Total working hours: 182
Total contact time: 36

This course unit introduces the major theoretical paradigms and debates on migration and on multiethnic reality of contemporary societies. The analytical approach is twofold. The first one introduces the major theoretical paradigms on migration and inter-ethnic relations. The second one identifies the theoretical and conceptual premises which shape the debates on multiculturalism, interculturalism and integration of migrants and ethnic minorities. Special focus is given to the study of integration policies in the national and international contexts, fostering  a critical reflection on the different conceptual and ideological underlying policymaking.

Interethnic Relations
Integration Policies

1. Knowing the different theoretical perspectives on migration and inter-ethnic relations in specific historical contexts.
2. Identifying key issues generated on contemporary debates on multiculturalism, multiculturality, interculturalism and interculturality.
3. Understand the theoretical and ideological premises underlying the policies of integration adopted in the europena and north American contexts.
4. Analysing critically the Portuguese migratory phenomena in the broader international context of migration fluxes and integration policies.


1. Migrations, Communities and Ethnicity: Concepts and Realities
1.1. Migration flows and the formation of communities
1.2. Multicultural societies and globalization
1.3. The nation-state and cultural diversity
1.4. Identities and citizenship rights
2. Interethnic Relations. Theoretical Paradigms
2.1. From assimilation to interculturalism
2.2. Recognition policies and minorities' rights
2.3. Integration, social cohesion and cultural diversity
3. Diversity and Integration policies in contemporary societies. Case studies
3.1. United States of America and the myth of the "melting-pot"
3.2. Multiculturalism policies in Canada
3.3. Integration in European multicultural societies
3.4. Portugal. Integration and the political project of interculturalism

Castles, Stephen ( 2005), Globalização, transnacionalismo e novos fluxos migratórios: Dos trabalhadores convidados às migrações globais. Lisboa: Fim de Século.

Dervin, Fred, Anahy Gajardo e  Anne Lavanchy (eds.). 2011. Politics of Interculturality. New Castle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.  Available at:
Horta, Ana Paula Beja (2011), “As Políticas de Imigração em Portugal. Contextos e Protagonistas”, Revista Internacional em Língua Portuguesa, III Série, Nº 24, pp. 233-253.
Kymlicka, Will (2012), Multiculturalism: Success, Failure and the Future,  Migration Policy Institute. Available at:
Reitz, Jeffrey, Raymond Breton, Daren Dion and Kenneth Dion (2009), Multiculturalism and Social Cohesion: Potentials and Challenges of Diversity. Springer Netherlands. Available at:
Santos, Boaventura  Sousa (org) ( 2004), Reconhecer para Libertar. Os caminhos do Cosmopolitismo Multicultural, Porto: Edições Afrontamento, pp.20-44.
Taylor, Charles (org.) (1994), Multiculturalismo: Examinando a Política de Reconhecimento. Lisboa: Instituto Piaget.
Zincone, G. et. al (orgs.) (2011), Migration Policymaking in Europe, IMISCOE Research, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Available at:;keyword=zincone
Complementary  Readings  and webgraphy: see course unit webpage in the e-learning platform.

Blended learning (online with 6 hours of face-to-face sessions).

Evaluation is made on individual basis and it involves the coexistence of two modes: continuous assessment (60%) and final evaluation (40%). Further information is detailed in the Learning Agreement of the course unit.

Students are required to have access to a computer with Internet connection as well as digital literacy to work at Moodle platform. Knowledge of English language is required.