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Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

International Studies

First Advisor

Kent Warren

First Committee Member

Zane Hemm

Second Committee Member

Francisca Trujillo-Dalbey

Abstract

Since the 1980s, intercultural dialogue has become increasingly recognized as a way to reduce prejudice, improve relationships, increase intercultural understanding, manage diversity, and contribute to democratic processes. Similarly, civic engagement has emerged as a key priority of municipalities to effectively serve and meet the needs of a culturally diverse public. I conducted an exploratory qualitative research study using focus groups with 13 ethnocultural community leaders in Edmonton, Alberta. The main goals were to understand from their lived experiences and perspectives how intercultural dialogue could contribute to meaningful and culturally appropriate civic engagement for ethnocultural communities. The findings indicated that ethnocultural community leaders are passionate about and committed to improving the lives of their communities, identify strongly with Canada and Edmonton as their home, and appreciate being meaningfully involved in civic affairs. The findings indicated that intercultural dialogue is meaningful if it takes place in a larger framework of civic engagement practices. This framework of meaningful practices is presented along with recommendations that can be adapted and implemented by municipalities, institutions, and organizations that wish to engage meaningfully with and respond effectively to diverse ethnocultural communities.

Pages

177

ISBN

9781339688558

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