What happens when people from around the world arrive in a new situation and have to live, work and study together? Wageningen is a microcosm of such a globalising world. This diversity can inspire. But what can be said of the major challenges it presents when differences lead to negative feelings, misconceptions, and even conflicts?
Participating in a foreign international environment can be enriching. It can also lead to shocking discoveries that take you out of your comfort zone. Sound familiar? You have discovered diversity’s double edged sword.
Dr. Martinovic will reflect on these experiences, relying on existing scientific findings and her personal experience. She will dig deeper into the different ways people adapt to a new cultural environment. What makes it easier to come into contact with the others? And do these contacts always help to feel accepted?
Dr. Borja Martinovic was trained in both sociological and social-psychological research traditions. She completed a PhD in sociology, and the topic of her dissertation was interethnic contacts in Western countries. Using nationally representative longitudinal surveys of immigrants in the Netherlands, Germany and Canada she examined the development of immigrants’ contacts with natives during their residence in the host country and identified socio-demographic determinants of such interethnic contacts. Her graduate coursework and thesis as well as postdoctoral research were of social-psychological character. During a post-doctoral project she examined national identification in the Netherlands among ethnic minorities and native Dutch, as well as ethnic and religious identification of ethnic minorities, and how these affect intergroup relations. She is also interested in multilingualism and in particular whether people who speak more languages tend to be more open towards ethnic outgroups.