For the EUMC, which has been established to combat racism and xenophobia, the rapid development of Internet websites has become a reminder of the powerful instrument the Internet can be, as well as the negative impact it is able to exercise.
Racist and xenophobic websites have increased extraordinarily quickly and become an industry with the sale of racist music and other commodities. And those websites are designed to attract young people with propaganda that threatens all democratic values. At the same time the Internet can serve democracy, and strengthen the values on which our society is based. The EUMC commissioned a pilot study in 2002 to identify websites and website characteristics for promoting diversity and intercultural values.The study had to find and analyse websites which deal with and promote cultural diversity, aiming at children, young adults, teacher and trainers in the field of intercultural competence.
The research took place between January and June 2002 in Hamburg, Germany and included two parts: an online research for existing intercultural websites and an experiment.
The search for “good” web sites
A total of 273 single web sites were identified and two types of websites, which differed in their accessibility, for the general public or restricted for members of organizations or communities.
The experiment situation
A school class in Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg with 12 to 13 year old migrant and non-migrant youth were studied when using the various websites. The aim was to find out how the intercultural websites, being mainly created by professional adults, are perceived by a targeted group like young adults.
The report includes recommendations for politicians and policy makers as well as recommendations for teachers, schoolchildren and parents:
The EUMC will continue the project by investigating more websites in English but also in other languages of the European Union. The experimental part is considered of high importance.
The pilot study was conducted by IMIR (Institute fuer Migrations und Rassismusforschung), Hamburg, Germany.
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