Interpreting, mediation and mediation in multilingual Basel Dealing with diversity and foreign language skills - survey among leaders of public institutions Dolmetschen, Vermitteln und Schlichten im vielsprachigen Basel. Umgang mit Diversität und Fremdsprachigkeit – Umfrage unter Leitungspersonen öffentlicher Institutionen

Alexander Bischoff (1), Janine Dahinden (2)
(1) Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Nursing Science, University of Basel, Switzerland, Switzerland,
(2) Center for the Understanding of Social Processes (Maison d'analyse des processus sociaux - MAPS) , University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Switzerland

Abstract

As European countries become more diverse, so do the client populations in public institutions. Switzerland has, like all modern societies, been affected by major cultural and social changes, characterised by a pluralisation of lifestyles, ways of life, languages and value systems. For Swiss society as a whole and for its public institutions, this raises questions about how this pluralistic society can be held together and, more specifically, how the integration of members of immigrant groups can be supported. Integration is to be understood here as the creation of an institutional framework for social pluralism and the establishment of equal rights and non-discrimination. In practical terms, this means that everyone living in Switzerland should have equal access to the services of public institutions and that the services that these institutions offer should take into account the needs of different communities. One instrument that can contribute effectively to the inclusion of immigrant communities is intercultural mediation. By this we include three forms of mediation: linguistic mediation (interpreting), cultural mediation and conflict mediation. How do public institutions deal with diversity characterised by migration and foreign languages? Basel, one of the larger Swiss cities, is a case in point. With a high proportion of foreigners among the resident population (31%), Basel’s public institutions have been dealing with the increasing diversity of their clientele in different ways. One of them is the use of interpreters, cultural mediators and conflict mediators.

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Authors

Alexander Bischoff
alexander.bischoff@unibas.ch (Primary Contact)
Janine Dahinden
Author Biographies

Alexander Bischoff, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Nursing Science, University of Basel, Switzerland

Alexander Bischoff is lecturer and research associate at the Institute of Nursing Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Basel. With a background in nursing, a masters in community health and a PhD in epidemiology, he is involved in different research projects around intercultural communication and migrant healthcare. Correspondence: Dr. Alexander Bischoff; Institute of Nursing Science, University of Basel, Bernoullistrasse 28, 4056 Basel,

Janine Dahinden, Center for the Understanding of Social Processes (Maison d'analyse des processus sociaux - MAPS) , University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Janine Dahinden is Professor of Transnational Studies and Social Processes and Director of the Maison d'Analyse des Processus Sociaux (MAPS), at the University of Neuch'tel. Correspondence to: Prof. J. Dahinden, MAPS, University of Neuch'tel, Faubourg de l'HÙpital 27, 2000 Neuch'tel, Switzerland. Email: janine.dahinden@unine.ch

Bischoff, A., & Dahinden, J. (2008). Interpreting, mediation and mediation in multilingual Basel Dealing with diversity and foreign language skills - survey among leaders of public institutions: Dolmetschen, Vermitteln und Schlichten im vielsprachigen Basel. Umgang mit Diversität und Fremdsprachigkeit – Umfrage unter Leitungspersonen öffentlicher Institutionen. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 8(1), 1–09. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v8i1.450

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