About the theme

Social Pedagogy and Intercultural Mediation: Theory and Practice in Social Educational Intervention

The XXXIV International Congress of SIPS (Iberoamerican Society of Social Pedagogy) and the 10th Conference on Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention, to be held jointly at ESCES.IPL (Higher School of Education and Social Sciences of the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria) on the 20th and 21st of October, 2022, intersect two domains that are simultaneously distinct but also simultaneously siblings in empowering social intervention.

There is still a large gap in studies on the relationship between Social Pedagogy and, in part, all social professions, with Intercultural Mediation, which bets on the intervener who acts by dialoguing, negotiating, [mediating], empowering, automating, with practices always of a relational nature, working with subjects who think about themselves and others.
Social Pedagogy, as the main science of both Social Education, Sociocultural Animation, and even modern Social Work, points to everything but welfarism and charity in the pretense of helping others. On the contrary, it feeds professions characterized by the social relationship of proximity where active listening, communication in the broadest sense, empathy and starting from the other for the construction of their own autonomy are fundamental. Inevitably, Social Pedagogy leads to these professions, not infrequently, through Intercultural Mediation [as an essentially preventive, transformative and socio-educational paradigm] where the intervener, unlike classical mediation, is anything but neutral. It is anything but impartial, as will be discussed and reflected in this congress. The Social Pedagogue has intentions of change, which implies a (trans)formation of the self, of the view of oneself and of the view of others.

But this transformation cannot be a simple make-up or cosmetics, nor a mask imposed by the social intervener. The latter, as a builder of projects and, why not, also of dreams, as the poet says, should potentiate the courage and desire to want to be, to do, using the construction of bridges of meaning between yesterday, today and tomorrow; between the 'I' and the 'other', between us and the others, between identity and alterity, through a socio-educational mediation that, in this sense, is always intercultural, interpersonal, intrapersonal and intergroup.

This relational work, whether of the social educator or of other professionals of social work, can only occur with the use of skills in intercultural mediation, for the transformation of the other(s), starting from themselves, with renewed wills, dreams emerging, projects elaborated or re-elaborated in the interaction with the intervener. This is, therefore, an intercultural mediator who puts into practice the most empowering and educating Social Pedagogy in the broadest and anthropological sense of the term and who, before resolving clashes of cultures, tensions or even conflicts, bets on prevention and social transformation for a culture of peace, for a (with)experience versus coexistence, and for the construction of a more intercultural and inclusive glocal society.

It is in order to debate, discuss and deepen these issues that interested parties are invited to present and share experiences of Social Pedagogy and Intercultural Mediation, around the following thematic areas:

1 | Theory and Practice in:
- Communities (“real” or “imagined”)
- Family contexts
- Educational territories in public and private spaces: schools, associations, municipalities, institutions

2 | Epistemological conceptions about social pedagogy and intercultural mediation

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