Welcome

Welcome to the Super-Diversity South Africa Site

The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (MPI-MMG) launched the Super-Diversity South Africa (SDSA) program in 2010.  The program supports research on ‘super-diversity’ in the context of contemporary South Africa, where multiple, longstanding modes of ethnic and religious diversity are subjected to new migration flows that are varied in terms of countries of origin, ethnicity, language, gendered channels of mobility, education, occupation, and location.

Through a range of projects, the institute’s program on SDSA seeks to advance and mobilize new knowledge on many of the possible outcomes of super-diversity in South Africa: new patterns of inequality and prejudice (as manifested in the xenophobic bloodletting of May 2007); new patterns of segregation including, despite the collapse of the apartheid system, gated communities of the wealthy at one extreme and new slums for migrants at the other; new experiences of space and contact evident as formerly-white public spaces have become shared; new patterns of exclusion that have developed particularly in response to crime and the fear of crime; new forms of creolization and cosmopolitanism witnessed in the burgeoning development of cross-ethnic artistic expressions, political cooperation, religious worship and shared lifestyles; and new bridgeheads of migration indicating that, while most of South Africa’s migration remains regional (southern Africa), there is also significant migration from all over the continent and beyond.