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Identity and Diversity

The relationship between identity and diversity brings us to the heart of Renaissance society, with its values and its contradictions. The theme can be analyzed from a plurality of different viewpoints: the diversity (or identity) can be religious, cultural, social or, not least, of gender. In the European countries, various models of integration (or non-integration) have been put into practice; at the same time, however, a "different" culture that has been subdued can survive within a dominant culture. Moreover, the role of woman in the culture and society of the Renaissance can be highly interesting for reflection on the process of emancipation, not yet to be considered entirely resolved.

Reflection on the relationship between identity and diversity in the Renaissance serves a dual function; on the one hand, it can help us to trace the formation of our European identity "historically", and on the other it can furnish interesting examples of integration even at historical moments when it was least to be expected. The construction of the European Union has, in fact, raised the problem of the coexistence of very different identities and cultures, as well as that of relations with the non-European cultures that Europeans are increasingly brought into contact with through immigration.

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