Culture, cultures, interculture: not three realities, but one only. In an increasingly globalised world, one cannot afford to think in terms of "a" culture (one's own) to then address "other" ones. Culture, today, is immediately plural, even in everyday experience. Differences constantly permeate local worlds due to migrants, tourists, religious travellers, but also through the immaterial yet concrete presence of symbols. This co-habitation should not rely on multiculturalism defined in terms of a mosaic that erects barriers between different "communities" and promotes an idea of belonging that threatens individuals' rights. The case of Salman Rushdie and the French ban on Islamic headscarves in public schools cannot be addressed in terms of "identity politics", which could set off cultural wars. There is emerging an intercultural world in which we will all have to live for a long time. In order to do so responsibly, each one of us will have to undertake a strong ethical and cognitive effort in order to safeguard reciprocal respect and underpin effective communication, recognition, and cooperation. Psychology, as the authors argues in this text, can contribute significantly to this effort.
Giuseppe Mantovani teaches Psychology of Attitudes in the Faculty of Psychology in the University of Padua.