Barbara Waldis, born in Entlebuch, Switzerland, in 1960. Ph.D. from the Universität Freiburg. Assistant Professor at the Institute of Ethnology at the Université de Neuchâtel.
Visitor (1 September 2004 – 30 June 2005)
CIVIC EDUCATION AND MULTICULTURAL VALUES IN MAURITIUS AND LA RÉUNION. AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL APPROACH TO CITIZENSHIP IN TWO ISLANDS OF THE INDIAN OCEAN
During my stay as NIAS visitor, I worked on my research project “Civic education and cultural diversity in Mauritius and La Réunion – A comparison of two multicultural models of citizenship”. After a year of fieldwork in Mauritius and La Réunion, this second year of my research leave, endowed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), was dedicated to the sifting and sorting of collected ethnographical data and their analysis. In Mauritius, where cultural differences seem to be ubiquitous, I am looking through the introduction of citizenship education for the laical – or citizenship – colours of public spheres. In La Réunion, a multicultural reality of universalistic France without any officially recognised cultural colours, I am looking for the significance of multicultural expressions in citizenship education. These two movements correspond to different entanglements of cultural difference, institutional framework and the public spheres and constitute the basic grid of my final report. The comparison of my results with other empirical studies on citizenship illustrates a specific set of conditions for shaping models linking citizenship and cultural difference.
My conference activities and texts I wrote at NIAS mark the steps in the analysis of my field data. Each presentation, each written text has challenged and transformed my perspective on my object. I have finally been able to delineate a comparison of citizenship in two different multicultural societies and I am confident that the conceptual work I realised at NIAS does substantially benefit the writing up of the final version of the research report for the SNSF.