Super-diversity

Super-diversity

Steven Vertovec

‘Super-diversity’ is- a term intended to underline a level and kind of complexity surpassing anything previously experienced in a particular society (see Vertovec, S. [2007] ‘Super-diversity and its implications’, Ethnic and Racial Studies 29(6): 1024-54). Over the past twenty years globally more people have moved from more places to more places; wholly new and increasingly complex social formations have ensued, marked by dynamic interplays of variables, including: country of origin (comprising a variety of possible subset traits such as ethnicity, language[s], religious tradition, regional and local identities, cultural values and practices), migration channel (often related to highly gendered flows, specific social networks and particular labour market niches), and legal status (including myriad categories determining a hierarchy of entitlements and restrictions). These variables co-condition integration outcomes along with factors surrounding migrants’ human capital (particularly educational background), access to employment (which may or may not be in immigrants’ hands), locality (related especially to material conditions, but also to other immigrant and ethnic minority presence), and the usually chequered responses by local authorities, services providers and local residents (which often tend to function by way of assumptions based on previous experiences with migrants and ethnic minorities). This comparative project examines changing migration flows and patterns of diversity in a variety of settings around the world.