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  • Projects of the department of socio-cultural diversity

List of projects of the department of socio-cultural diversity

Institutions and Organizations

Between accommodation and integration: comparing institutional arrangements for asylum-seekers
Susanne Becker, Simona Pagano, Miriam Schader, Steven Vertovec, Shahd Wari
In 2015, Germany experienced an influx of migrants entering the country. As a result, German authorities became responsible for providing accommodation for three-quarters of a million people during the course of their respective asylum determination processes. The sheer logistics of accommodating this number of asylum-seekers represents an immense organizational and financial undertaking.
Federal, state and local authorities have responded by setting up a range of sites, structures (asylum-seekers’ housing centres or Flüchtlingsunterkünfte) and modes of asylum-seeker accommodation quickly, extensively and painstakingly. Especially at the local level, measures to provide accommodation have proceeded usually efficiently, often experimentally, sometimes ingeniously and typically with very mixed outcomes.
link to project site

Cities and the challenge of diversity: a study in Germany and France
Project leader: Karen Schönwälder • Researchers: Christian Jacobs, Christine Lang, Michalis Moutselos, Maria Schiller, Lisa Szepan
The CityDiv project investigates how cities in Germany and France respond to the increasing diversity of their populations. While there is a considerable body of research specifically on cities and migration, both changing realities and gaps in the existing literature call for a theoretically and empirically systematic approach. As distinct from previous work, this project extends the focus beyond the city government and administration to a wider range of actors in order to capture the shift from urban government to urban governance. The implications of governance structures for the representation of previously disadvantaged groups are one key interest of the study. We are also examining a large number of cities in the two countries to allow systematic comparisons of cities and gain insights into what drives their responses to diversity. A large survey of urban actors is complemented by studies of specific questions (urban networks, cultural policies, urban planning) using a range of methods.
Key research questions are:

  • how cities intervene in the structures and relevance of diversity (through explicit and implicit diversity policies);
  • how diversity is represented in governance networks;
  • in what ways responses across cities and across the two countries differ and what drives these different responses.

link to project site

Civil society organizations and the challenges of migration and diversity: Agents of Change (ZOMiDi). Teilprojekt "Behinderung/sexuelle Minderheiten"
Karen Schönwälder, Helen Baykara-Krumme, Sanja Bökle
The project investigates how and why civil society organizations change in response to migration and societal diversity. Such organizations play a key role in processes of social self organization and participation, and they are indispensable for societal integration in developed democracies. While we now know that migration processes transform host societies, we are also aware of the persistence of institutions and organizations and of the related processes of exclusion and discrimination. This project investigates this tension while focusing on the conditions and actors that further change towards more openness, diversity and participation. The focus will be on organizations for which difference and participation are constitutive because they represent particular, potentially disadvantaged population groups.
link to project site

Ethnic difference and political stability in urban Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Sabine Mohamed
This doctoral research project examines the inscriptions and negotiations of ethnic difference within a state project to constitute a pluralist vision of the nation in the aftermath of a violent political transition. Ethiopia’s ruling party, the EPRDF (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front), has sought to stabilize a political transition by overcoming a legacy of the large-scale violent conflict and political repression that was experienced under the former Derg regime (the Red Terror). Representing a fundamental break not only with the former Communist state, but also with the monarchy which preceded it, the EPRDF has unusually identified ethnic diversity as the key to Ethiopia’s political unity and stability, this being the political ideology underpinning its new tribal federal structure, which has attempted to placate secessionist movements. This project asks how national unity and collective identity may be forged under a political system that recognizes diverse ethnically based sovereignties, and what role ethnic difference may play in efforts to consolidate the political transition. This ethnographic endeavour is interested in how these quotidian processes are being translated through the figure of the other, Eritrean stranger familiar, and infrastructural renewal.

Housing policy and mobilization in the French suburbs
Michalis Moutselos
This individual project in the context of CityDiv is a comparative study of French cities that have implemented policies aimed at a diversifying population (cultural offerings, personnel training, translations of official documents etc.). So far the findings point to surprising variation within France, a country that is traditionally been depicted as hostile to such policies. The process seems to be very politicized and related to the electoral strength of the extreme right in some cities.

Local transformations and asylum-seeker reception
Miriam Schader
This project focuses on how urban actors, especially local authorities, in Germany are responding to the recent and on-going arrival of larger numbers of asylum-seekers. While the reception and inclusion or exclusion of refugees depends to a great deal on national and EU legislation, local authorities (Kommunen) are shaping the implementation of national and regional (Länder) legislation and, within the scope permitted by national and regional regulations, create their own rules. Not only do they decide on access to or exclusion from many services and information that are crucial for newcomers, they are often also responsible for the quality of the services and information to which refugees do have access. At the same time, the arrival of large numbers of refugees is likely to change the fabric of the local community and the structures, processes and institutions of different aspects of local life. The project looks at how local authorities position themselves in the federal system with regard to asylum-seekers, how they shape and transform the latter’s situations and at how the most recent influx of refugees is in turn transforming cities and towns.

Planning diversity: the influence of city planning on spatial structures of diversity and the cohabitation of diverse groups
Christian Jacobs
In his dissertation, Christian investigates the influence of city planning on spatial structures of diversity and the housing opportunities and housing patterns of diverse groups in German cities. He analyses the interventions of public and private planners, as well as their underlying ideas. City planning today faces new tasks, as the composition of cities, through the diversification of urban societies, and the structures of urban planning have changed significantly in recent times. Cities nowadays commonly claim that they benefit from diversity and want to promote a diverse society. What remains mostly unclear is how these claims affect policies and planning. Christian´s research focus is on city administrations in Germany and especially the planning departments. How are public and private planners reacting to a diversification of urban societies? What are their aims, objectives and guiding principles? How great is the planner´s actual scope of action? These are the main questions Christian is asking in his research.
Christian’s project is part of the umbrella project ‘Cities and the Challenge of Diversity: A Study in Germany and France’ (CityDiv) For his dissertation Christian utilizes both original quantitative and qualitative data, using the results of the CityDiv survey together with material from interviews with spatial planners, social planners, politicians and private planners in housing associations.

Encounters and Representations

Linguistic diversity and asylum
Susanne Becker
Within the framework of the larger project, ‘Diversity of Asylum-seekers’ Needs and Aspirations’, the linguistic diversity and linguistic needs of asylum-seekers were examined. The project’s findings show that institutions and their actors often have only a little knowledge and awareness for the huge linguistic diversity of asylum-seekers. Legitimized by an integration discourse that views learning the German language as a main factor of integration, German is privileged as a language in the interactions of German institutions and volunteers with asylum-seekers. The incorporation of this discourse by asylum-seekers can be observed, which leads to an extensive need for German language courses. While state-funded courses are only available in limited numbers and for selected groups of asylum-seekers, a huge number of locally funded or voluntary German language courses are trying to fill the gap. This development is accompanied by challenges arising from a huge diversity of course arrangements and highly diverse teacher qualifications. In addition to the German language courses, there is an extensive need for interpretation and translation services in the field of asylum. Since legal entitlement to interpretation is restricted to only a very few circumstances like court procedures, interpretation and translation needs are mainly addressed by volunteers and language mediators. Institutions often allocate interpreters of official languages due to better accessibility and the staff’s lack of knowledge of the high linguistic diversity of the asylum-seekers they are interacting with.
Initial findings on linguistic diversity in the asylum process have been presented at several national and international conferences.

New forms of collective urban life
AbdouMaliq Simone
Cities in the Global South are experiencing substantial changes in forms of collective life. Former arrangements anchored in certain configurations of labour, housing, gender, politics and uses of the city are being unmade. The new forms that are emerging in their place are unexpected, inspiring and disturbing in their attempts to manage both the seemingly intractable problems of metropolitan areas from high levels of inequality to the messiness of everyday life, as well as navigate significant economic, political and demographic changes. The project investigates these changes and the emergent politics and forms of collective life by engaging with the everyday of five cities: Delhi, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Yangon and São Paulo, with colleagues Teresa Caldeira, Gautam Bhan and Kelly Gillespie.
The work focuses largely on Jakarta and Yangon by examining the disentanglement of long-hone self-evolved districts and economies, the resettlement of larger swathes of the population to large-scale vertical housing complexes and the concomitant remaking of collective action, conceptualizations of residence and urban life, as well as household units. Major findings so far point to a major transformation in how residents think about urban life, the valorization of circulation through more expansive urban circuits and heterogeneous economic and social networks and the prolific re-assembly of collective life under new, more provisional modalities that often diverge from the imaginaries suggested by the new built
environments in which people increasingly reside.

The road ahead is paved with wireless networks: refugees, mobile technology and adaptation in Germany
Jessica Rosenfeld
This PhD research focuses on the role that mobile technology and ‘technologically enhanced adaptation methods and software’ (TEAMS) are playing in the lives of refugees in Germany. The research questions relate to how these technologies are helping asylum-seekers to navigate better in their new lives in Germany, as well as learn new skills and cultural adaptations to assist them with their long-term aspirations within the country.

Flows, Dynamics and Urban Space

Emerging epicenters of global urbanization: Asia and Africa
AbdouMaliq Simone
(with the African Centre for Cities, the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, the Hyderabad Urban Lab and the Rujak Center for Urban Studies)
The project tracks the key demographic, economic and socio-cultural variables that are driving massive urban growth in these two regions and, through grounded social action and ethnographic research, examines how heterogeneous processes of intensive and extensive urbanization are instantiated in select urban areas across these regions and, furthermore, with attention to the remaking of urban cores and peripheries.
Particular emphasis is placed on the modalities through which social heterogeneity is reconstituted in new built environments and governance arrangements. The first-phase outcomes of the work, focusing methodologically on how everyday life and macrostructural changes can be considered simultaneously, elaborates how adaptive urban agendas focusing on infrastructural change can build cross-class, cross-sectoral coalitions capable of shaping urbanization processes across these regions in more sustainable and just ways.

Inhabiting urban corridors
AbdouMaliq Simone
Urbanization is no longer embodied by the city, but takes a multiplicity of spatial, physical and social forms. Much work has been done on the infrastructure, production networks and commodity circuits at work in the articulation of existent urban regions in the formation of corridors. This project undertakes a more socio-cultural exploration of the complexion of mobilities, labour, and social interchange at work in these corridors, using them as a site to understand the composition of new heterogeneities from materiality, everyday life and built environments. A workshop of twenty-eight social scientists working on the relationships between culture, urbanization and infrastructure along the East African Indian Ocean coast was conducted in October 2016 to explore key theoretical and methodological issues that will be further investigated, both in this region and in the emerging Kolkata-Kunming corridor (an element of the One Belt/One Road) in Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar (BCIM corridor projects).

Intersecting spaces of superdiversity
Sakura Yamamura
Drawing attention to the intersection of multidimensional variables of migrants, the concept of Superdiversity is particularly relevant to increasingly diversifying global cities. Currently, since little is known about where and how superdiversity concerns spatial intersections, the core focus of this project is on the socio-spatial dimension of superdiversity in global cities. It delves into the complexity of multiscalar contexts of socio-spatial diversification in and of urban spaces, and the multidimensional socio-spatial constellation of transnational migrant groups in them. With a mixed-method approach, the project aims to capture the intersection of so-called ‘transnationalism from below’ and ‘transnationalism from above’ in global cities. The project entails a range of methods including: qualitative interviews with migrant professionals of transnational corporations, on the one hand, and with low-skilled labor migrants on the other; ethnographic observation; site surveys; and mapping based on statistical data. Furthermore, it also aims to visualizing the data with innovative methods to make the otherwise abstract concept of spatial superdiversification more visible and tangible.

Logistification of migration: Corridors of circulation, bordering, and rebellion
Somayeh Chitchian
The colonial and racial project of capitalism, since its emergence in the 16th century up until the present moment, has relied on a deadly logistical landscape for its expansion, accumulation, and management of circulation. Thus, the field of logistics is not only concerned with the circulation of commodities and the accumulation of capital, it is simultaneously entangled with the strategic—often violent—channeling of human bodies as well. Since the 1960s, however, supply chain capitalism has taken on a different scale and has resulted in the so-called “logistical reorientation of the economy” based on the military logic of efficiency of movement and the maximization of profit.
This doctoral project centralizes the question of logistics / migration and focuses on the extended corridors and infrastructures of circulation of Fortress “Europe” as complex (post)colonial and racialized (a) (new) bordered spaces of controlled and preselected circulation of bodies and commodities, on the one level, while simultaneously opening up grounds for (b) fugitive, migratory spatialities from below. By using logistics as both a material and theoretical lens, this doctoral project aims at respatializing migration studies’ inherent methodological nationalism and to challenge the object, scale, and spatialities that have been more conventional in migration research.
Planned outcome: doctoral dissertation

Picturing social encounters: visual research on diversity in public spaces
Anna Seegers-Krückeberg
In recent years visual methods and their application in field research have gained more and more attention from international researchers. Methodological discussions started in different disciplines like cultural anthropology, sociology and geography. This thesis seeks to contribute to this body of work with reference to my fieldwork in Astoria, New York City (within the research project ‘GLOBALDIVERCITIES. Migration and New Diversities in Global Cities: Comparatively Conceiving, Observing and Visualizing Diversification in Urban Public Spaces’). My doctoral project investigates the following research questions: what kinds of knowledge can be gained using various visual methods regarding everyday interactions in the public spaces of a highly diverse neighbourhood? And what kinds of content are transmitted through visual representations and documentations?
Using multiple (visual) methods, the longstanding or fleeting encounters of migrants – interactions between friends, neighbours, colleagues and strangers – will be visualized and analysed. Latham (2004) complains that this research area is often overlooked or taken for granted because it is so ordinary. Amin (2002) calls for an anthropology of ‘the local micropolitics of everyday interaction’ akin to what Leonie Sandercock (2003) sees as ‘daily habits of perhaps quite banal intercultural interaction.’ The importance of visual methods within this field of research arises as a result of a complex social environment in which migrants live and the complex social interaction in itself. Ultimately interaction not only involves spoken words, but also, for example, pitches of the voice, gestures and mimics (Theye 2004). In addition, Latham (2004) notes that social interaction is influenced by the setting. With visual methods one can record the environment in which the interaction takes place as well.
Strikingly research projects mostly make use of one or two visual methods at a time within their project. This project combines a whole set of visual methods with ethnographic field methods to visualize and to analyse intercultural interaction: filming, guided tours, video feedback, photo elicitation, participatory photo/film elements, mappings (e.g. movement maps, mental maps), participatory observation and interviews. The findings will be result in a doctoral thesis. In addition, a comparative ethnographic film and an interactive website are planned so a wider audience may visualize the findings.

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.

Understanding the public-private spectrum of space in asylum-seekers’ accommodation facilities
Shahd Wari
Within the framework of the project, ‘Diversity of Asylum-seekers’ Needs and Aspirations’, the sub-project ‘Understanding the Public-private Spectrum of Space’ employed participant observation, spatial analysis and guided and semi-structured interviews with asylum-seekers to understand their spatial needs and perceptions and to investigate the importance of public and private spaces, as well as the dynamics of social spaces in accommodation facilities specifically and on the city level in Göttingen in general. This focus on space is meant to contribute in part to answering the macro-project’s research question investigating needs and aspirations, and to clarify whether and how existing institutional accommodation facilities meet the needs and aspirations of asylum-seekers, and how they influence their life trajectories.

Super-diversity, South Africa

CityLab: Super-diversity
In collaboration with the African Centre for Cities (ACC), at the University of Cape Town (UCT), the MPI-MMG has established the CityLab: Super-diversity, which pursues a research program that has been developed around four thematic clusters:

  • Contact and the labour market
    This theme concerns (a) the nature, quality and quantity of social interaction between individuals of various backgrounds as well as the effects such modes of contact have upon inter-group attitudes, and (b) the labour market experiences of individuals of various backgrounds, particularly the ways in which individuals gain information about, and access to, the labour market. The main activities of this cluster surround a large-scale survey in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
    Research Coordinators: Prof. Owen Crankshaw (UCT), Prof. Miles Hewstone (Oxford)
    Researchers: Dr. Hermann Swart (Stellenbosch),
    Dr. Elena Moore (UCT)
  • Visualizing urban diversities
    This theme concerns two meanings of ‘visualizing’: one addresses techniques for creating, gathering and documenting urban visual material (especially photography, film and video) regarding a range of diversity dynamics in Cape Town; another refers to making data concerning the city visible in new and analytically compelling ways (such as innovative graphics and GIS mapping). Within this cluster the main activities will include the development and collection of visual resources, and the provision of training on state-of-the-art data graphics and cartography. This cluster will be developed in collaboration with the GLOBALDIVERCITIES project at the MPI-MMG.
    Research Coordinators: Prof. Pieterse (UCT/ACC), Prof. Vertovec (MPI-MMG)
    Researchers: Ismail Farouk (ACC), Tau Tavengwa (ACC), Dr. Norbert Winnige (MPI-MMG), Alexei Matveev (MPI-MMG)

  • Diversity and public space
    The theme addresses public spaces – approached as physical settings such as streets, squares, parks and markets which are in principle accessible to all regardless of background. In practice, public spaces are differentially perceived and experienced with respect to markers and modes of diversity (gender, age, ethnicity, legal status, disability, etc.). Cluster activities will include qualitative research on the variegated meanings of specific public spaces in Cape Town, undertaken in conjunction with the thematic cluster on visualizing urban diversities. The research entry point will be public art initiatives undertaken to provide a basis for inter-cultural dialogue and engagement.
    Research Coordinators: Prof. Edgar Pieterse (UCT/ACC), Prof. Gordon Pirie (UCT/ACC), Dr. Darshan Vigneswaran (Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam)
  • The socio-linguistics of super-diversity
    This theme concerns the variety of ways people adapt to ever-increasingly complex contexts of multilingualism (arising from combined processes of migration, new features and functions of signs within transformative linguistic landscapes, and rapid development of communication technologies). The cluster’s main activities include data collection, assemblage and digitizing of existing documentation, visualization and mapping out of linguistic phenomena, and training of young scholars through conferences, expert workshops and summer schools.
    Research Committee: Prof. Chris Stroud (UWC), Prof. Raj Meshtrie (UCT), Prof. Jan Blommaert (Tilburg), Dr. Karel Arnaut (KU Leuven)

The CityLab: Super-diversity will produce a series of qualitative research studies (original data and a documentation depository), research outputs (edited volumes, academic articles and various visual materials) and activities (conferences, workshops, exhibitions and summer schools).

Constructing borders, creating foreigners: xenophobic conflict as dimension of super-diversity in post-apartheid South Africa
Melissa Steyn (University of the Witwatersrand)
A central feature of South African super-diversity has been the emergence of xenophobic violence that has been largely directed at African nationals living in both rural and urban township areas. Therefore, this study will involve investigation of the multiple and differentiated experiences of African nationals in addition to those of locals through the theoretical lens of super-diversity. This research will foster more nuanced understandings amongst government and civil society of why xenophobic violence is occurring and how to prevent future conflict. Interviews focusing on the lived experience of the South African border will be conducted with thirty individuals: fifteen South Africans and fifteen “other” African nationals. In approaching xenophobic conflict from this angle, the project will contribute to academic understandings of identity, boundaries, migration, and super-diversity in the globalised, postcolonial context.
This project will undertake in-depth analysis of South African super diversity through conducting interviews with (a) differently postitioned South Africans of different ethnic groups and (b) Africans of other nationalities about their understandings of and feelings towards the border, the people 'on the other side,' and those who have come across it. These narratives will be used to provide nuanced understandings of the factors which characterise super diversity in a postcolonial African context.

Exploring the continuum of coexistence and conflict: modalities of engaging with difference in informal settlements in urban South Africa
Iriann Freemantle, PhD, Jean Pierre Misago, PhDc
In 1994, South Africa held its first democratic elections and officially abolished the system of Apartheid and institutionalised racism that had governed the relations between the country’s ‘population groups’ since colonial days. However, the social, spatial and economic legacies of segregation powerfully shape interactions and life chances even 20 years into the ‘new’ South Africa. In particular, the regulation of difference and the categorisation of people in relation to rights and territory remains a central and defining feature of South African society. This is evidenced prominently by extraordinary levels of xenophobia amongst the South African population as a whole. While such hostile attitudes are all-pervasive, actual violence motivated or framed by prejudice tends to manifest predominantly in the country’s economically marginalised, super-diverse and mobile urban settlements. Especially since what became known as the ‘xenophobic violence’ of May 2008, much research has thus focussed on hostility towards foreign nationals in South Africa.
Yet, anecdotal and fragmented evidence shows that the ‘outsider’ or ‘Other’ in these contexts is a fluid and volatile concept, applied flexibly to people of different ethnic and national groups from within or beyond the country’s borders, as well as people of different sexual, political or religious orientations. Set in two informal peri-urban areas in Kwa Zulu Natal and Gauteng, this project thus seeks to systematically explore how various forms of difference are produced, given meaning to, organised and controlled in these contexts. It will document in particular the precarity of fault lines, the polymorphic ethics of difference and conditions of tolerance as well as the processes of boundary (de)construction that govern the engagement with the Other and outsiders.
Expected outputs for this project include 1-2 academic articles speaking to the global literature on diversity, the encounter of difference, conflict and coexistence, as well as a policy brief trying to help de-centre South Africa’s current strategic focus on race and class as the sole social cohesion challenge.
Iriann Freemantle is a researcher based at the African Centre for Migration & Society at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a background in sociology, ethnic and migration studies, her research focuses on social cohesion in policy and practice, anti-outsider violence as well as the 'everyday' engagement with diversity. Her doctoral research, completed in 2010, explored discourses and practices of ‘non-elite’, quotidian cosmopolitanism amongst Southern African migrants in Johannesburg. She also lectures and supervises within the ACMS’s MA in Migration and Society.

Heritage and super-diversity: a study of muslim womens’ identity in Cape Town
Rosabelle Boswell (Rhodes University)
T his project will investigate aspects of Muslim identity and super-diversity in the Western Cape. This research will examine how Muslims maintain intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in the post-apartheid city as well as their interactions with a globalised Muslim diaspora in reframing identity. Do these interactions refresh local ICH or challenge it? The project investigates present streams of representation in South Africa and explores the influence of the current phase of Western globalisation on Muslim identity in a particular diaspora.

Migration and new religious diversities in South Africa
Peter Kankonde (MPI-MMG and ACMS, University of the Witwatersrand), Lorena Nunez (Wits University), Melekias Zulu (ACMS, University of the Witwatersrand)
This research project, using ethnographic methods of inquiry, investigates the politics of common sacred space construction, successive use, and new forms of religious ritual practices developing in the context of the new super-diverse South Africa. Since the formal end of Apartheid in 1994, South Africa has been experiencing the greatest wave of both internal and international migrations from different racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds in the Country’s history. However, for millions of the new migrants who settle in South Africa’s urban settings, the urban context involves all sort of threats and increases their experiences of vulnerability and insecurity at the physical, material, and spiritual levels. In response, many people rely primarily on their religious beliefs as resources and undergo, sometimes simultaneously, different religious ritual cleansing practices as “technologies of the body” in order to prepare themselves to face these new threats. This is evidenced in a number of new shared sacred spaces that play the function of religious initiation to cities. Across all major South African cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, etc., there have emerged new places of worship in abandoned churches, warehouses, vacant land, private homes, backyards, etc. There are also numerous visible freelance prophets catering mainly to the religious needs of the migrant newcomers and transforming religious landscapes of these cities. These new places of worship have not only diversified the range of religious offer practices, but are also causing many people to come into contact with one another, compete for space, or simply collaborate by sharing spaces or merging the religious ritual practices that they previously developed in different traditions and contexts.
This research project explores the dynamics of new ethnic and religious encounters resulting from new migration in diverse cities, and the consequences of these encounters through the lense religious ritual practices. This research project seeks to answer the following questions: How have various patterns of migrations impacted on the landscape of sacred spaces and what dynamics have informed the diversity of religious offers and ritual practices in South Africa at different periods of the country’s history? What are the politics of sacred space construction and succession in contemporary South Africa? What are lay people’s religious trajectories and what attract them to particular forms of religious ritual practice? What are the dynamics informing instances of respect or transgression of boundaries of beliefs and ritual practices as people share the same space? What is the nature of religious sociability and new forms of connectivity emerging out of encounters and common use of sacred spaces? This project specifically looks at different Pentecostal, Islamic, Hindu, Zionist, and African Traditional Religions’ cases across greater Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban.

Multilingualism in late-modern Cape Town: a focus on popular spaces of Hip-Hop and Tshisa-Nyama
This research project developed out of an interest in studying the dynamics of multilingual communication, multilingual practices and multilingual spaces in Cape Town. As a result of recent research on the dialectics of language and space by Blommaert as well as Collins and Slembrouck, it sought to investigate how youth went about doing multilingual communication in spaces where they practiced popular cultural forms such as Hip-Hop and Tshisa-Nyama (Burning-meat), also known here as popular spaces. The theoretical tenets of the notion multilingual citizenship was the driving force behind the design of this research project in recognising the effects of extensive social transformation in South Africa, with accompanying issues of voice and agency in rapidly evolving contexts undergoing urban transformation. Globalisation, also, is changing the way people’s mobility is defined in local urban enclaves and local institutions and how much such social transformation bring together speakers of all walks of life, cultures and nations. In this way, multilingualism could be understood as politically embodied social practices and ideologies of language that normalize but also prefigure in different spaces and institutions.
The project data base comprises data collected around the idea of multilingualism as a ‘spatial concept’, i.e. the form that interacting languages take, how they are practiced by speakers and how multilingualism is perceived is largely determined by the affordances of particular ‘places’. The archive can be used to investigate: (1) The language practices of migrants moving from one locale to another, crossing borders and the question of how localised and creative such practices are; (2) the semiotic transformation of how different spaces serve as affordances for different organizations of multilingualism, and how identities are formed semiotically through these spaces and multiple languages; and (3) perceptions and productions of space emerging through stylization of urban identities of various lifestyle spaces, language and late-modernity, or the spaces for the development of new varieties.

Policing racial boundaries: exploring the relationship between intra-racial diversity and inter-racial relations
Kim Wale (University of Johannesburg)
S ince the shift to democracy in 1994, South Africa has seen the diversification of historically enforced race groups that often maintain their power as prime identity markers and group separators, despite the increasing complexity developing within race categories and the ensuing super-diversity. This research aims to investigate the relationship between intra-racial diversification and inter-racial relations: How inter-racial is South Africa 15 years after the end of apartheid? In what ways does super-diversity open up the space for racial integration in South Africa? In what ways are historical racial boundaries policed despite or alongside super-diversity?
The research methodology will consist of in-depth interviews on the topic of inter-racial relations. A range of different self-classified racial groups and people who are or have been engaged in different forms of intimate inter-racial relations will be included. On the one hand a picture of race relations in South Africa from the perspective of students will emerge. On the other hand, it will become clear that while the existence of super-diversity within a taken-for granted category can challenge the salience of that category, this is not always the case and it is important to explore when, how and why this is or is not the case for particular axes of difference in particular contexts.

The politics of multilingualism in South Africa
Lloyd Hill (Stellenbosch University)
T his research project will combine a theoretical exploration of the concept of ‘multilingualism’ with an empirical study of how this concept has been used and measured in post-apartheid South Africa. The intention is to provide a substantive and methodological contribution to the process of thinking about language as a dimension of super-diversity. The three broad objectives will therefore be: t o trace the historical development of the concept ‘multilingualism’ and to summarize the main contending theoretical approaches associated with research on multilingualism; to summarize the development of a post-1994 discourse on multilingualism in South Africa, highlighting problems associated with the politicization of the concept; and t o summarize and critique various attempts to measure multilingualism in South Africa and to explore the extent to which a better theoretical elaboration of the concept may improve attempts to measure it.

Reimagining diversity in post-apartheid observatory, Cape Town: a discourse analysis
The project problematizes the notion of a transformed society while addressing and evaluating its meaning in the multicultural post-apartheid neighbourhood of Observatory, Cape Town. Observatory is a previously predominantly English-speaking community of Observatory. Confluent concepts such as ‘multilingualism’, ‘hybridity’ and ‘community’ are in focus within the historical and contemporary context of a newly established democratic South Africa. The data base strictly comprises qualitative data with a focus on a discourse and narratives supplied by informants during interviews and temporal and spatial descriptions of research sites, including photographic documentation of linguistic landscapes, and social interaction, translocations and community membership, that illustrate concerns of identity and language inintegration in Observatory. Focus therefore rest on issues such as hybridity, identity resources, translocal and transnational cultural flows, localization and globalization.
The data is amenable to research pertaining to a deeper understanding of migration, transnational and transcultural flows, hybridity and identity, semiotic landscape and place branding. Exploration into the appropriation of space by ‘newcomers’ and the subsequent reimaginings of space into place would be a particularly relevant research interest here.

Routes and rites to the city: migration, emplacement and religious diversity in Johannesburg
Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon, Lorena Nunez, Peter Kankonde Bukasa, Bettina Malcomess
This project aims to chart, through a collectively produced monograph, conference and exhibition, the intricate cartography of religion in Johannesburg, covering a significant diversity of practices and spaces. Developing the concept of ‘super-diversity’, the study aims to account for the radical proliferation and spatial proximity of diverse religious orders in the city, and the intersection of these with the intense migration into the city in the postapartheid era. The project explores how urban space is produced and transformed through the intersecting phenomena of migratory processes and religious ritual, and argues that these phenomena powerfully shape urban spatialities, administrations and moral orders.
Postapartheid Johannesburg provides a pointed case study due to the super-diverse character of its population, along with the dense historical and contemporary patterns of migration that have shaped the city. It has often been alluded to as a ‘city of migrants’, and yet the dominant framing of the city in existing literature has been as a secular urban metropolis. Challenging this line of thought, we argue that religion is a powerful force in creating the cityscape and orienting the lives of those seeking to find work and wellbeing within it. Engaging with contemporary urban theory, the research maps how the ‘right to the city’ is claimed through religious rites, and how these in turn shape, and are shaped by, migratory routes.
In this project we draw on perspectives and methodologies from religious history, anthropology, sociology, theology, and critical aesthetics to develop the flourishing body of theory on religion, migration and urbanism showing how the transnational dimensions of migration and religion are localized and emplaced in the urban setting.
The book ‘Routes and Rites to the City’ is edited by Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon, Lorena Nunez & Peter Kankonde Bukasa, with visual editing by Bettina Malcomess. The authors explore the radically diverse, but spatially dense patterns of migration and emplacement as a lens into the ways in which religion is integral to place-making and belonging in the city. Religion offers both material and symbolic entry points into the life-world and economies of the city. It provides both sites of refuge but also contributes to contestations around urban space. It produces sites of value, meaning and power that intersect with the regional and global circulation of capital and labour but are not reducible to these. It fosters symbols and socialites that are deeply enmeshed in the urban fabric.
Chapters span Christian traditions including evangelical, Pentecostal movements, prophetic and African Independent Churches, along those Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. These studies are situated in the historical context mapping of both contemporary and historical migratory processes and place-making.
The themes of this book revolve around four broad and intersecting themes:

  • The spatial and temporal diversity of migration and religion in Johannesburg
  • The sacralization and appropriation of urban space
  • The politics and economy of religion in the city
  • Spaces of refuge and conflict

Super-diversity and cultural heritage in the city of Cape Town
Rosabelle Boswell (Rhodes University)
This project will investigate aspects of super-diversity and their interaction with cultural heritage in the city of Cape Town. The key research question is: if super-diversity is about the present and future, is heritage about the past? In this research it is hypothesized that heritage management involves the reformulation of the past to suit the present and that super-diversity involves an engagement with the past. Heritage is also contested, lived and embodied; it is necessary to nation building and is an integral part of super-diversity. While South Africa has witnessed a creative and complex confluence of old and new understandings of culture, heritage and identity in, the dismantling of apartheid did not necessarily change older conceptions of ‘culture’ and heritage. Moreover, South Africa’s heritage agencies still largely treat heritage as the product of discrete cultural groups. Little attention is given to the immigrant, transnational, religious and gendered heritages emerging from a post-apartheid city and society. The research will investigate how Capetonians, in particular, respond to super-diversification and how they explain the intersection of their cultural heritage with emerging forms of diversity.

Surveying super-diversity in South Africa: contact, attitudes and job-seeking
Owen Crankshaw (University of Cape Town), Miles Hewstone (University of Oxford), Hermann Swart (Stellenbosch University)
South Africa is a country renowned for its ethnic and cultural diversity. Compounded by recent migration patterns, South African society is a good example of a social context characterized by ‘super-diversity’. Hence, South Africa offers an intriguing context for testing the potential of Contact Theory for improving intergroup relations in diverse societies. This research is based on a survey study exploring the intergroup relationships between white, black (African), coloured (mixed racial heritage), Indian South Africans and African foreigners living in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Using a stratified probability sampling survey design, 1,500 people in each city have been surveyed. The primary focus of this research is to explore the extent and nature of both direct (e.g., as friends) and indirect (e.g., as friends of friends) forms of intergroup contacts between members of these different groups in the neighbourhood, at work and in educational settings, and how these different types of contact experiences impact on the intergroup attitudes and intergroup relations amongst these groups. Advanced statistical techniques, including structural equation modelling and multi-level modelling, are being used to test the various hypotheses associated with this study. A further focus of this project and of particular relevance to the South African context – where unemployment rates hover at 25% – includes the investigation of job-seeking behaviours amongst South Africans of different ethnic backgrounds and African foreigners. Data collection for this project has been completed and analysis is currently underway.

Writing invisibility
Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon (ACMS, University of the Witwatersrand)
This project involved a workshop bringing together narrative writers and academics in June 2012 and the subsequent publication of an e-book of narrative journalism and academic responses, which we produced in collaboration with the national newspaper the Mail & Guardian. The e-book was originally released in September 2012 as part of the Mail & Guardian literary festival and hosted on their site. Several shorter versions of the pieces were also published in the newspaper.
This freely available e-book aims to bring to the fore the importance of linking narrative non-fiction and social sciences.
'Writing Invisibility: Conversations on the Hidden City’ is a journey into the spaces of the city often bypassed in public debate and public story-telling: the ship, the slum, the wall, the market-place, the church, the mine, the rooms of sex workers, and even the rural areas, which remain a part of urban life. Eight writers and journalists from South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and the USA have contributed to stories drawing on themes within social science research, and eight academics have given critical responses to the pieces. The narratives cover a range of topics: immigrant African sex workers in Belgium, patterns of urban survival among Tanzanians in Point Area in Durban, the story of a book seller in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, urban prophecy among immigrants in Johannesburg, how immigrants turned an empty square into a vibrant flea market, how marginal residents of Cape Town resist social control through graffiti, the lives of Cape Town dock workers, and the aftermath of the mine worker massacres in Marikana.

Completed projects

The Ashgate companion to cosmopolitanism (completed)
Magdalena Nowicka, Maria Rovisco (York St. John University)
Cosmopolitanism has become a highly discussed topic across the social sciences and the humanities. The companion will introduce those with little or no prior knowledge of cosmopolitanism to the main themes, debates and controversies surrounding the subject. It pursues distinct theoretical orientations and empirical analyses, bringing together mainstream discussions with the newest thinking and developments. Part I Practical Cosmopolitanism is primarily concerned with the empirically-grounded aspects of cosmopolitanism which are apparent in mundane practices and lifestyle options on the micro-scale of daily interactions. It focuses on the outlooks and lived experience of ordinary individuals and groups in concrete situational contexts and social structures. Part II Political Cosmopolitanism sets out the main topics and issues dealt with by scholars writing within the tradition of political cosmopolitanism. Addressing timely issues such as human rights, global justice, and global democracy, it focuses on cosmopolitanism as an ethico-political ideal and a political project to devise new forms of supranational and transnational governance. Part III Debates reflects the major debates and controversies on the subject and deliberately eschews any bland consensus to instead foreground the key arguments and lively intellectual discussions in play across disciplinary divisions.

Backlash against multiculturalism? European discourses, policies and practices (completed)
Steven Vertovec, Susanne Wessendorf
Regardless of its purported meanings and diverse policy manifestations, in recent years across Europe ‘Multiculturalism’ has taken a beating. For example: in the UK publisher David Goodhart suggested that an over-emphasis on diversity has been responsible for a breakdown in social and political solidarity; in the Netherlands journalist Paul Scheffer (with an argument that underpinned the rise of Pim Fortuyn) famously criticized ‘the multicultural drama’ behind a breakdown in immigrant integration; right-wing Belgian politicians like Filip Dewinter describe multiculturalism as ‘an illusion’; and in Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel pronounced that ‘the idea multicultural society cannot succeed’ while the weekly news magazine Focus ran a cover story purported exposing ‘The Multicultural Lie’. In a relatively short time, many governments have been purposefully dropping ‘multicultural’ from their policy vocabularies. Is there indeed a common ‘sceptical turn’ against cultural diversity or a ‘backlash against difference’ sweeping Europe? If so, what has brought about such seemingly parallel public sentiments in considerably different societies and political contexts? If not, why has media coverage portrayed events and developments in this way? What effects have changing public discourses had upon actual national and local policies concerning the management of diversity and immigrant integration? Are the discourses and policy shifts actually reflected in everyday practices within culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse settings? In this edited volume to be published by Routledge in 2009, experts from numerous countries assess these questions with reference to recent and current trends concerning multiculturalism, cultural diversity and integration in their respective countries.

The business of integration: super-diversity, migrants' religious entrepreneurship and social transformation in post-apartheid South Africa (completed)
Peter Kankonde Bukasa
There is an unparalleled amount of general resentment and xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals in post-Apartheid South Africa. Yet in this violent and migrant-unfriendly environment, we see a paradox in the numbers and social status of South Africans who are joining migrants’ Pentecostal churches. In fact, of all the things that relate to new migrants’ entrepreneurship in South Africa, none is as visible as their small businesses, or as imposing as their Pentecostal churches. Regardless of their origin and the nature of their beliefs, the survival and growth of religious organizations, as for any secular organization, depends on access to resources from its external environment. This PhD project, using sociological and ethnographic methods of inquiry, and comparing three extreme case studies (two successful and one unsuccessful), examined how Congolese and Nigerian migrant Pentecostal churches in neighbourhoods in greater Johannesburg construct and maintain their organizational legitimacy in a host social context that is so hostile. Since attracting locals was not enough, the project also examined how these migrant churches deal with the challenges to diversity management arising from their church members’ cultural differences in order to gain and sustain local membership and thereby ensure their survival, growth and social reproduction in the host

Child health and migrant parents in Southeast Asia (completed)
Theodora Choy Fong Lam
For millions of families across Asia, international labour migration has become part of a household livelihood strategy motivated by a desire to improve the life chances of the next generation. Yet, there has been relatively little research on transnational house-holding or the impacts of parental migration on children who stay behind in Southeast Asia. In this context, in 2008 the international research team first set out to collect survey data from around a thousand households in four countries (Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) as part of an investigation into ‘Child Health and Migrant Parents in South-East Asia’ (CHAMPSEA). In the following year, the team continued with qualitative, in-depth interviews with around fifty carers in each study country, as well as structured interviews with 32 Indonesian and Filipino children (16 per country) aged 9 to 11. Further qualitative interviews focusing specifically on the gendered narratives of twenty households comprising return migrants, left-behind carers and left-behind children in Indonesia and the Philippines were conducted by Theodora between 2009 and 2012 to explore changing gender subjectivities (both masculinities and femininities), the web of care and relationships within the family in the wake of labour migration.

Cohabitation and convivencia. Comparing conviviality in Casamance and Catalonia (completed)
Tilmann Heil
This project explores conviviality, a set of processes surrounding everyday living with difference. Based on 18 months of fieldwork (2007-2010) equally split between Casamance, Senegal, and Catalonia, Spain, the comparison takes the transnational lives of Casamançais and their embeddedness in both local fields into account. Locally, Casamançais often spoke of cohabitation (French) and convivencia (Castilian). Exploring discourses as well as practices related to encounters with difference and everyday socialising, this thesis addresses three questions: (1) How do migrants who come from a context of religious and ethnic diversity manage to make their way within new social contexts of cultural diversity? (2) How do their pre-migration experiences of diversity affect the ways in which they deal with the changing configurations of diversity that they encounter in Europe? (3) How do ways of living together with difference change over time in both sending and receiving contexts due to migration and other concurrent societal transformations?
In four ethnographic chapters, I firstly explore everyday neighbourhood encounters and the centrality of multilingual greeting and temporary gatherings in open spaces for conviviality. A second chapter focuses on cultural and religious festivities and argues that, apart from the political recognition of diversity, the local residents’ sensuous experiences of difference are a crucial dimension of conviviality. Addressing challenges to conviviality, the third chapter engages with the processes of social closure, isolation and homogenisation which reveal alternative ways of living with difference. The fourth ethnographic chapter puts migration-related inequalities centre-stage, showing how conviviality also involves subtle forms of inequality.
Analytically, this project suggests that conviviality is not a static conception of sociality, but one that is in-process. I find that socio-cultural differences are permanently negotiated, that ways of dealing with difference are translated between the old and new contexts of diversity, and that discourses and practices of living with difference are continuously (re)produced in everyday interactions. Casamançais perspectives reveal ways of maintaining minimal sociality among local residents who remain different.

Comparing planning interventions in culturally diverse cities of global immigration (completed)
Felicity Hwee-Hwa Chan
This project aimed to understand how urban space is planned in ethnically diverse cities that are home to migrants and also very open to global financial flows, but retain extremely tight border controls over global immigration. Singapore and Zürich were selected as the cities for this preliminary inquiry. The two cities may have different immigration histories and cultural diversity, but they share certain characteristics, such as being small, wealthy, financial capitals, centrally planned, historically with multiple cultures, but currently facing the challenges of integrating new immigrants. They can thus help us understand if and how urban space and land use are institutionally reshaped in small, culturally diverse cities in order to integrate new immigrants and cultures. The project focused on the perspectives of planning institutions in Singapore and Zürich, but with the potential to include other culturally diverse global centres in the near future.

Competitive elections and ethnic identification in Africa (completed)
Elena Gadjanova
This project uses experimental methods to study the mechanisms behind the often observed increase in ethnic identification close to competitive elections in Sub-Saharan Africa. Drawing on research from social psychology (social identity theory in particular), the research identifies several pathways through which the polarized campaign environment could influence individual identification. These pathways are then activated using primes in survey experiments of voters in the context of presidential elections in Ghana and Kenya in order to trace their effects on individual identification, inter-ethnic trust, perceptions of linked fates and support for redistribution.

Conditions of conviviality and conflict (completed)
Steven Vertovec, Andreas Wimmer (University of California Los Angeles), Stefan Lindemann
This project seeks to enhance our knowledge of the conditions – political, social, economic – that are likely to enhance peace and conviviality between ethnic movements, parties, and leaders, even when ethnicity has been politicized and politics is perceived as a matter of power relations between ethnic communities and their leaders. Most research has so far focused on conflict and tried to understand the circumstances under which ethnic tensions will escalate into violence or even full-scale civil war. Much less attention has been given to the study of "negative" cases, i.e. situations in which one could expect competition and conflict but in which peace and concordance prevail.
This project seeks to address this question through a controlled comparison of pairs of cases that can be expected to display the same propensity for peace or conflict, but with dissimilar outcomes: One country has traveled down the road of escalation and violence, while the other one has maintained conviviality and peace. Such a project depends, obviously, on the identification of countries with similar conflict propensities. We do so by relying on recent quantitative research on ethnic conflict (Wimmer, Cederman and Min, 2009, "Ethnic politics and armed conflict", in American Sociological Review 74 (2):316-337.), which is based on a new dataset on ethnic power relations in all countries of the world since 1945. This research has identified different ethno-political configurations of power that are particularly war-prone.
This project builds on this previous endeavor by systematically comparing the political history of pairs of countries of which one was peaceful while the other suffered from an outbreak of violence, despite displaying very similar ethno-political configurations of power (i.e. similar number and size of excluded groups and of power-sharing partners). The project seeks to identify those political developments that might account for the different outcomes: different patterns of protest, mobilization and de-mobilization; the occurrence or absence of state repression or strategies of co-optation; different constellation of alliances with external actors, and so forth.

Courting non-coethnics: campaigns strategies in Africa’s highly diverse states (completed)
Elena Gadjanova
This book project examines how candidates reach across ethnic lines in places where ethnicity is politically salient, but cross-ethnic support is needed to win elections. The question is particularly relevant for Africa’s presidential contests, which are won by majority vote, though countries’ largest ethnic groups often represent less than a third of the total population. The project relies on archival research and extensive interviews with candidates, party strategists and campaign operatives in Ghana and Kenya, and presents the first extensive dataset of presidential candidates’ campaign appeals in Sub-Saharan Africa since the re-introduction of multi-party government in the 1990s. This data makes possible the rigorous testing of a number of assumptions behind existing theories of politics in Africa’s plural societies.

Deaf-hearing gestural interaction in Mumbai: an ethnography of communication (completed)
Annelies Kusters
The aim of this study is to understand the potential and limits of gesture use in language contact situations between deaf and hearing people who do not have fluency in a shared language (mode). In the socio-linguistically diverse environment of Mumbai, where (co-speech) gesture is widely and effectively used among speakers of different languages, the study considers two related issues: how fluent deaf signers use gestures (both conventionalized and spontaneous) and aspects of Indian Sign Language to communicate with hearing non-signers; and how hearing speakers use gestures to communicate with deaf non-speakers. This research thus contributes to understanding the multilingual repertoire that speakers could use to achieve communication across diverse communities when attempting to reach mutual understanding. The deaf can contribute greatly to studies of gesture, as they are skilled in creative gestural communication with hearing people. In particular, the discourse range of gestural communication and its limitations and potential are investigated. The roles of speech and writing in gestural communication are analysed, as is the role of the location of the interactions (i.e., the immediate physical and spatial environment). Hearing and deaf participants’ own perceptions of the relative ease of communicating on various topics in a range of situations are also examined. Relationships between the way gesture is used and the place where the interaction happens, as well as the underlying perspectives regarding gestures, sign language and the deaf, are identified.
To this end, gestural interactions in public and parochial spaces (such as markets, shops, streets, food joints, public transport and parks) between strangers, acquaintances or neighbours in Mumbai are observed and video-recorded, and interviews are conducted with individual deaf and hearing participants to find out more about their views on gesture. The recordings provide data for analysis, but also material for a film documentary, which will serve as a basis for further exploration in a second round of data collection in which the documentary will be presented for group discussion.

The dilemma of the bridge-builders: local councilors with migration background (completed)
Cihan Sinanoğlu
About two hundred councillors in large German cities now have a migration background. For whom does this matter, and in what ways? Why should membership in a primarily statistically defined group – people of a particular national origin – lead to political practices that differ from those of politicians who are not part of this statistical group?
The PhD project investigates the political practices of local councillors with migration backgrounds. It looks at the councillors themselves and their motivations and strategies, as well as the interactions between the immigrant councillors and citizens and between the councillors and their political parties.
The project assumes that ethnicity matters for politicians of minority backgrounds, but not always, not for everyone, and it does so in ways that have to be understood more precisely.
Situational triggers, contextual characteristics and individual traits may influence modes of ethnicity-making in the political context. In principle this is shaped by three factors. The first factor is the existence of opportunities like communication networks and membership in migrant organizations and foreigner or integration councils. The second factor is the cognitive schemes and patterns of interpretation and perception, including individual and collective political experiences of ethnic identification, or motivations based on group loyalties. The third factor is the expectations or ascriptions of different actors like supporters, political parties and the general public.
I have adopted a qualitative approach in my research, which includes interviews, observations and analysis of documents and the social media (Facebook). The dissertation is successfully defended at Göttingen University in April 2017.

The diversification of postwar migration (completed)
Alan Gamlen, Steven Vertovec, Norbert Winnige
This project aims to consolidate the leading sources of large-scale quantitative data on international migration flows in the postwar period, with a view to examining the diversification of cross border population movements, particularly in the last three decades. Our immediate objective is to locate, evaluate and compile data that can reveal more about the shift from international migration patterns involving many migrants moving from and to relatively few locations, to patterns characterized by relatively few migrants moving from and to many places. The wider goal of the project is to begin weaving together the fragmented patchwork of existing but disconnected international migration data, collected by a range of international, national and sub-national institutions. In pursuit of these aims, the project will develop relationships with the major institutions that are stakeholders in the collection and application of large-scale international migration data.

Diversity and contact (‘DivCon’) (completed)
Project leader: Karen Schönwälder
Researchers: Steven Vertovec, Sören Petermann, Jörg Hüttermann, Thomas Schmitt, Mijal Gandelsman-Trier, Christian Jacobs, Miles Hewstone and Katharina Schmid (both Oxford), Dietlind Stolle (McGill)
The Diversity and Contact project was concerned with the ways in which the socio-demographic and cultural diversity of societies affects the social interactions and attitudes of the individuals and groups within them. Focusing on Germany, where in some cities more than one third of the population are first- or second-generation immigrants, it examined how this phenomenon impacts on the ways in which urban residents interact, form friendships and come to trust or resent each other. An interdisciplinary team including colleagues from Oxford and Montreal applied a mixed-methods design combining a three-wave panel survey, qualitative fieldwork, area explorations and analysis of official data. A book and a number of high-level journal articles present representative findings on the frequency, contexts and consequences of intergroup interaction and deeper insights into how residents experience different neighbourhood contexts. In particular, it demonstrated that high levels of immigration-related diversity are associated with high levels of interaction and that fears of conflict and disintegration are not justified. Moreover, even rather superficial contact furthers positive attitudes to the other and to diversity.

Diversity and integration in Frankfurt (completed)
Steven Vertovec, Regina Römhild (Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München), Amt für multikulturelle Angelegenheiten (Frankfurt)
Based on recent approaches in international urban and migration research (especially surrounding “super-diversity” and “transnationalism”) as well as on the basis of specific local circumstances, the project entails a consultancy for the City of Frankfurt. Its goal is to develop a new concept with which to frame and articulate general perspectives and practical guidelines for a future urban integration policy reaching across government departments in the city.

Diversity and public administration (completed)
Boris Nieswand
Based on the case study of a local youth welfare office, this ethnographic project examines how diversity is constituted within the everyday work of public administrations. Within this context, four months of participant observation were carried out in 2009 in the counseling center of a youth welfare office in an ethnically diverse district of a large German city, along with archival research. The project will be continued in 2010.
Within the framework of this project, the assumption is that diversity is not simply an external reality of public administrations, but that it is constructed in a reciprocal manner at the border between the public administration and its social environment.
In the case of the youth welfare office, classifications related to individuals are of the greatest importance for the construction of diversity. Practically speaking, this means that first a decision is made regarding the criteria according to which a person is to be classified in order to then determine to what kind of diversity this classification corresponds. A problem relevant to social theory hereby becomes apparent. Complex societies are characterized by an inflated production of individual-based differences. They provide a constantly increasing and continually diversifying excessive offer of potentially relevant categories with which persons and their characteristics can be identified. This becomes especially relevant in social spaces such as the youth welfare office, that are, on the one hand, points at which different systems of expert knowledge intersect (such as medicine, law, public administration, social work, psychology) and, on the other hand, places of intersection for these systems of knowledge and the daily world of the people and families who appear at the youth welfare office as clients and for whom very different social classifications are often of more importance (gender, ethnicity, religion, etc.). Precisely because it is difficult to determine in advance what and in which constellation something will be important in the proceedings of a youth welfare case, a practical problem arises, namely that different forms of individual-based differences, including general everyday differences as well as highly specialized ones, must constantly be newly selected, placed in relation to facts, and adapted to specific conditions and cases.
The diversity concept provides an opportunity to examine the construction and interplay of classifications. In this sense it refers not only to a state of ethnic diversity, but points to the coexistence of individual-based differences and dimensions of difference as well as to the forms of their interactions within a social context. The relationship between everyday ethnic-cultural and function-specific, individual-based categories is of special interest for this project.

Diversity and social identity complexity (completed)
Katharina Schmid and Miles Hewstone (both University of Oxford)
The project examines how people negotiate their multiple identities in the context of (super-) diverse neighbourhoods. Within Social Psychology literature, the extent to which people integrate their multiple identities in a complex, differentiated and inclusive identity structure is referred to as social identity complexity. Social identity complexity has important consequences for intergroup relations, being typically associated with more positive intergroup attitudes, more tolerance, and greater support for affirmative action. Moreover, prior research has shown that majority members living in ethnically diverse neighborhoods have, in many ways, a more complex identity structure and, consequently, have more positive intergroup attitudes. Such earlier research has also shown that positive intergroup contact may prompt greater social identity complexity.
This project builds upon previous studies, but extends them in important ways. For instance, this project includes a minority perspective in order to examine in-depth the extent to which exposure to (super-) diverse contexts is linked with social identity complexity for both majority and ethnic minority members; in addition, the project addresses consequences of social identity complexity for a range of attitudes as well as well-being.
Focused in Birmingham, England, the project entails a survey with 1200 interviews in 92 neighbourhoods.

Diversity governance: how local state and non-state actors interact to respond to migration (completed)
Maria Schiller
The core interest of this post-doctoral research project is to investigate the interaction and co-operation of local state actors and residents in the development of local responses to immigrant-based diversity in Germany. Based on a comparative ethnographic study in Mannheim and Frankfurt, together with some complementary research in Stuttgart and Munich, it addresses the following question: in governance fora, where state actors and residents interact and co-operate to formulate policy decisions, what explains different representations of diversity, in a context where urban diversity has become a core field of action for local governments?

Diversity and the negotiation of urban life: the interactions of local state actors and residents in shaping responses to immigrant-based diversity (completed)
Maria Schiller
The core interest of this post-doctoral research project is to investigate the interaction and co-operation of local state actors and residents in the development of local responses to immigrant-based diversity in Germany. Based on a comparative ethnographic study of immigrant councils and processes of citizen involvement in Mannheim and Frankfurt, together with some complementary research in Stuttgart and Munich, it addresses the following question: in governance fora, where state actors and residents interact and co-operate to formulate policy decisions, what explains different representations of diversity, in a context where urban diversity has become a core field of action for local governments?

Diversity of asylum-seekers’ needs and aspirations (completed)
Susanne Becker, Annett Fleischer, Miriam Schader, Steven Vertovec, Shahd Wari
Since 2015, increasing numbers of refugees and asylum-seekers have arrived in Europe as a result of violent conflicts, political persecution and precarious living conditions in many regions around the world. Most of the asylum-seekers who have arrived in Europe are being hosted by Germany, whose towns and cities are working hard to cope with the large numbers of newcomers. Because the situation has developed so quickly, there is an urgent necessity to learn more about the newcomers and to consider how best to incorporate them and facilitate their integration. Therefore, this research project has two related goals:

  • to improve understanding of the wide range of needs and aspirations among the recent asylum-seekers – concerning, for instance, their everyday living conditions, education, family life, legal processes and labour market access – and how these needs and aspirations reflect social differences such as gender, age, class, ethnicity and religion;
  • to determine how local municipal, civil and voluntary institutions arrange the reception of newcomers in refugee homes and how such institutions manage logistical challenges, provide services and respond to the asylum-seekers’ diverse needs and aspirations.

Enacting European citizenship (completed)
Acts of Citizenship and the Expansion of the Political:
Performative Politics by excluded groups in Germany and Hungary
( www.enacting-citizenship.eu)
Ayse Caglar, Prem Kumar Rajaram (Central European University www.ceu.hu/sociology)
This project aims to put EU citizenship under scrutiny through the category of the people who have an ambiguous positioning within EU space, i.e. who are “in but not of EU’. For this purpose we first concentrate on the Third-Country-Nationals (TCN) and undocumented migrants in the EU (groups from without the EU citizenship), who are formally and legally excluded from EU citizenship despite their inclusion into the social, economic and political space of EU. The second category of people are those who are in fact EU citizens, but still have an ambiguous positioning within the social, political and cultural space of EU, like Roma from new member states (i.e. groups from within EU citizenship). These categories are used to provide us a lens to observe how the social and political space of EU is constituted, cleared, maintained and reproduced from without and how the excluded by becoming claimants of rights pose challenges to the boundaries of political community and and social space envisaged by the EU.
This project builds upon the conceptualization of citizenship as claimant acts of those from whom the rights are otherwise denied. These citizenship acts dwell on the outer limits of the hegemonic power and they refer to those acts that could neither be excluded completely by the centers of power, nor be captured without transforming the latter. These become acts as they imply rupture within the given definitions of the political community and the narratives of citizenship. This approach to enactment of citizenship implies an understanding of political participation beyond a narrowly defined political realm and beyond the canons of electoral politics. These Acts of citizenship ground their legitimacy and entitlements not in the existing legal and social frames but in unfamiliar or new grounds and become accessible only through fieldwork.
This specific project on in Germany explores the nature of the divides EU citizenship introduce into the polity and argues that these are not simple political ruptures as they are most often discussed in the literature, but also social ruptures that substantially endanger the conditions of equal communication, contemporaneity, thus the development of conviviality and fellowship among the fellow residents of the EU, as they deny coevalence to all of them. Berlin is taken as the site of research and through fieldwork conducted at courtrooms (mainly in family courts) including interviews with the claimants, judges, lawyers and legal organizations specializing on third country nationals, the following theoretical and methodological questions are raised about

  • the relevance of the concept of rupture in understanding the inequalities and asymmetries of EU space
  • the importance of materiality in the constitution of acts
  • the importance of ethnography
  • the judicialization of politics and the emergent politics of judicial sites.

Engaging inequalities: how interactions between recent ‘refugees’ with established Iranians reflect social changes in Germany (completed)
Sonja Moghaddari
Western societies are, ever increasingly, culturally pluralistic. The so-called ‘refugee-crisis’, i.e. the arrival of people by the thousands traveling across the Mediterranean and through the Balkans since the summer of 2015, raises the issue of social cohesion in the German society. Within the important movements of solidarity in Germany, the number of established migrants and their children is surprisingly high. People identifying as Iranians’ humanitarian activities and public media advocacy are particularly visible. This observation contradicts existing scholarship that claims established migrants tend to seek distinction from newcomers who might endanger their social position. Between research that sees humanitarian aid as a consolidation of existing power relations and studies that underline its capacity to challenge these structures, where is the Iranians’ engagement to be situated? In this postdoctoral research project, I conceive of Iranians’ humanitarian and advocacy work for recently mobile people as a social site of diversity in the sense that its social dynamics are shaped by the interaction of a multitude of modes of difference. I build on my doctoral studies where I showed that Iranians create or deconstruct social boundaries among themselves as a tool to optimize their chances to generate capital. Their boundary work can therefore be seen as an engagement with relations of inequality deriving from local and transnational hegemonic regimes of value. Thus, studying social differentiation in migrant-pro-migrant activism will allow me to indicate how regimes of value shaping the perception of immigration in general, and of cultural difference in particular, evolve in the post-2015 German society. In a seven-month multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork, I will apply various qualitative methods to study individual trajectories, boundary-work in social encounters, and the reception of categories prominent in the German society. This research thus aims to address the issue of diversity through the lens of pro-migrant activism that takes into account the historical depth and transnational interrelations that shape contemporary social processes.

Ethnicity in German society (completed)
Karen Schönwälder
It is nowadays widely acknowledged that Germany’s population has in large parts been shaped by individual or familial migration experiences. It is far less clear, however, to what extent and in what ways German society will be changed through the impact of ethnicity. The project investigates how the relevance and development of ethnic identifications, loyalties and social formations in German society could be monitored. An analytical grid has been developed. Further, common indicators and the availability of empirical evidence for Germany in existing or regularly conducted surveys were investigated. Analyses of existing data are continuing.
The project is conducted in co-operation with Dr. Helen Baykara-Krumme (TU Chemnitz) and the Sociological Research Institute Göttingen (SOFI) and part of the “Report on Germany’s Socio-Economic Development”.

Ethno-religious diversity and social trust (completed)
Miles Hewstone (University of Oxford), Anthony Heath (University of Oxford), Ceri Peach (University of Oxford), Sarah Spencer (University of Oxford), Steven Vertovec
Funded by the Leverhulme Trust and undertaken in conjunction, this project critically evaluates and provides European comparison to Robert Putnam’s recent American findings that areas with high ethnic diversity seem to manifest low levels of social trust. The project’s objects are (1) to investigate the degree of trust that obtains in residential and educational areas of different ethnic mix, and how this is related to various types of intergroup contact; (2) to develop causal models of the associations between key, theoretically-identified variables; (3) to study the longitudinal impact of contact on outcomes in educational settings, and to plan and evaluate interventions to improve its effectiveness; and (4) to examine ways in which trust and cohesion may be fostered and implemented in neighbourhood and schools policy. Although based in the UK, the intention is to broaden the methodological design to undertake comparative research in other European contexts.

Folk medicine in South India: representations of diverse identities in medical encounters (completed)
Gabriele Alex
India, as a long-standing plural society, has operated with plural medical systems (Leslie 1976, Nichter 2002) for centuries. The state currently recognises seven different medical systems (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy, Naturopathy and Biomedicine), all of which are incorporated into the national health care system. However, biomedicine constitutes the biggest sector in the institutionalised health care arena, thereby taking a hegemonial position.
Once representative of the colonial power, biomedicine is today synonymous with the Western world (Arnold 1993), and traditional and indigenous medicinal systems have experienced a revival in the context of recent anti-colonial and anti-western movements. The last decades have seen a modernisation of the Indian traditional medical systems, one that is characterised by procedures of standardisation, institutionalisation, commodisation and the increasing production of branded medicines (Bode 2006). Medical systems operate within and in dialogue with other ideological and religious systems, and besides their healing properties they are linked to, for example, ethnic or religious qualities, from which they gain their power and knowledge. Medical systems therefore mirror already existing diversities, but they also create a platform where diverse ideologies are represented. How this happens and what it involves is the object of this study, which is concerned with a specific branch of folk medicine in India, one that is widely termed “tribal” medicine.
Furthermore, this project investigates how the health system and regulations articulated by the modern Indian nation-state and the institutionalisation of medical practice shape and influence healing practices as well as ideas about the efficiency of different medical systems. The current data suggest that the ideas and (self) –images different groups hold about themselves and each other are articulated and influenced by the field of medical knowledge and practice. Ideas surrounding the traditional, natural, side effect free indigenous Indian folk medicine are contrasted with those surrounding biomedicine, which is generally termed English medicine and considered to be effective but harmful because of its side effects, as well as considered modern, but unnatural, and coming from the outside. At the same time, the Indian medical systems (e.g. Unani, Ayurveda, Siddha, ‘Tribal’ medicine) present a system of classification that is used to express and negotiate the intrinsic qualities and specific relations between different social groups and etiological categories in various ways. The diversity within the plural medical landscape interacts with the ideas and representations of different levels of diversity within the society: class, age, caste, religion, etc. The folk healers use these ideas about the traditional and indigenous qualities of their medicine in order to negotiate their identity and status within the wider society. At the same time, these representations shape the discourse within the Indian nation-state, where the labels of ethnicity and caste are strongly conditioned by affirmative action. The relationship and interaction between the different fields of encounters (community-state, healer-patient) and the respective representations that are employed in these encounters have so far not been studied and will form the major part of this ethnography.

Global cities / open cities? Segregation in the global South (completed)
Darshan Vigneswaran
This is a project about a major urban paradox. As globalization draws the world’s population closer together, great barriers are emerging between the closest of neighbors. The rapid expansion of economic, transport and communication networks has led some to proclaim the ‘death of distance’ (Cairncross 1997). Yet, in today’s cities, racial, religious, ethnic and class groups live ‘parallel lives’: side-by-side but never connecting. Segregation is stark in the central nodes of the international system: ‘global cities’ like New York, London and Paris. Elites in these cities’ work for international businesses and interact with far-reaching circles of ‘virtual’ friends. Meanwhile, their less privileged neighbors are marginalized in ghettoes, housing estates, or banlieue. However, the problems first noticed in the global cities of the North, are increasingly playing out at a much greater scale in the global cities of the South. Films like Slumdog Millionaire, City of God and Tsotsi are not portents of a urban dystopia in some far off future, but tales of contemporary reality in a world that is united by a tiny transnational elite, while one in six people lives in a slum (UN HABITAT 2010).
Why aren’t the forces of globalization creating open cities? How might we envisage and create an integrated urban future? This project answers these questions through the study of segregation across ‘emerging’ global cities. Beginning in Johannesburg and Mumbai, the project aims to:

  • Identify and richly describe the underlying forces which create spatial faultlines in today’s global cities;
  • Refocus attention on the cities where most urbanites live: the cities of the Global South.
  • Accurately measure and represent segregation by innovating and applying quantitative and qualitative GIS analysis and visualization techniques.

GlobaldiverCities (‘GloDiv’) - Migration and new diversities in global cities: comparatively conceiving, observing and visualizing diversification in urban public spaces (completed)
Project leader: Steven Vertovec
Researchers: Sofya Aptekar, Anna Cieslik, Beate Engelbrecht, Dörte Ulka Engelkes, Laavanya Kathiravelu, Raji Matshedisho, Alexei Matveev, Anna Seegers-Krückeberg, Alex Wafer, Junjia Ye, Abbas Yousefpour
How can people live together, with ever more diverse characteristics, in the world’s rapidly expanding cities? The UN estimates that the world’s urban population will double by 2050. Meanwhile, global migration flows show profound diversification among migrants in respect of nationality, ethnicity, language, gender balance, age, human capital and legal status. Everywhere, migrants with complex ‘new diversity’ traits are living in cities alongside people from previous, ‘old diversity’ waves. Despite their increasing ubiquity, the dynamics of diversification remain seriously under-researched. We know little about how people in diversifying urban settings create new patterns of coexistence, or how and why they might tend toward conflict.
This project’s core research question was: In public spaces compared across cities, what accounts for similarities and differences in social and spatial patterns that arise under conditions of diversification when new diversity-meets-old diversity? The project entailed comparative, interdisciplinary, multi-method research in three contexts of super-diversity: New York (a classic city of immigration with new global migrant flows in a broadly supportive political context), Singapore (dominated by racial-cultural politics, and wholly dependent on new, highly restricted migrants) and Johannesburg (emerging from Apartheid with tensions around new and unregulated pan-African migrant flows). Spanning anthropology and human geography to research the changing nature of diversity and its socio-spatial patterns, strategic methods entailed ‘conceiving’ (exploring how old and new diversities are locally understood), ‘observing’ (producing ethnographies of interaction) and ‘visualizing’ (using photographs, film and innovative data mapping).
The GLOBALDIVERCITIES project was funded by an Advanced Investigator Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) to Prof. Vertovec.

Globalization, urban re-invention, and migrants (completed)
Ayse Caglar
This is a research focusing on the dynamic relationship between migrants and the remaking, re-imagining and competitive repositioning of cities in the context of neo-liberal globalization. The aim is to develop a comparative perspective of the differing ways in which cities incorporate migrants within restructuring projects and the way migrants develop different pathways of incorporation in cities whose global position varies. In order to develop a comparative perspective, research will be conducted in different sets of cities. Cities from three different sets of cities will be selected: a) cities aspiring to be global b) come back cities c) downscaling, deindustrialized cities.
This project aims to provide a major intervention to both migration scholarship and urban studies and bring them into a common analytical framework. Despite the growing literature on the cultural industries in urban economies, scant attention has been given to the place of (im)migrants in the debates on urban reinvention. There are abundant studies on migration and to cities and the life of migrants in cities, but there is very limited literature on migrants and cities. Migration scholars have paid too little attention to the differential effects of globalization and urban restructuring and the way these processes reconstitute global capital and migration. This way of approaching migrants whose presence and actions not only are shaped by the restructuring of cities but also contribute to the repositioning of cities locates migrants into a different context in which migrant labour and work have been traditionally conceptualized.
By examining the ways in which all cities are now globalizing, but are embedded within differential power hierarchies with varying outcomes, this research focus will go beyond one of the major weaknesses of migration scholarship that is generating theory about migrant incorporation and the location of migrants in urban dynamics on the basis of some paradigmatic cities like gateway cities or a few cities designated as “global cities”. Moreover,such a perspective situates migrants within specific locations both as agents and subjects of the global processes of urban reinvention that reposition these cities within and across state boundaries. Migrants are conceptualized and analyzed as full participants of the political, cultural, and economic forces that have an impact on the changing forms of urban governance, development and social movements, all of which are central to urban debates. Finally, by taking the cities within global dynamics as the entry points of analysis rather than nations and/or migrant communities, this perspective moves the migration scholarship from the deeply seated methodological nationalism, which takes the nations and the ethnic communities as the unit of analysis.

Hollowing out ascriptive person categories: the concept of ‘employability’, its usage by public employment services and its effect on clients’ categorization (completed)
Christine Weinbach
Employability is a powerful instrument passed on by politics to public employment services (PES) as ‘people-processing organisations’ (Hasenfeld 1972), which are seen as enablers dealing with the expectations of the labour market. By enabling their clients to become employable individuals, these enablers impose expectations on their clients and thus hollow out expectations linked to ascriptive person categories like gender and ethnicity. The present project focuses on the re-categorisation work of PES staff in German job centres. The empirical basis is qualitative data – expert interviews and transcribed mediation talks between staff and clients – which were collected as part of a DFG-funded research project at the University of Potsdam.

Home-making in diversity: social and spatial encounters with difference in a migration hub in Istanbul (completed)
Kristen Biehl
This doctoral research project examined the ways in which differences are socially and spatially experienced in contexts of intense migration-led diversification, and where ‘old’ meets ‘new’. For her research, Kristen conducted ethnographic fieldwork in a historic Armenian quarter of Istanbul called Kumkapı, which in recent decades has been rapidly transformed into a central residential hub for internal migrants of Kurdish origin, as well as very diverse immigrant and refugee groups. In Kumkapı, Kristen examined housing and home-making practices among these various groups as lenses for understanding the kinds of differences, such as ethnicity, gender, race and migration purpose, which inform the use and perception of space and identification with it. Furthermore, the diversity of these perceptions of space were historically and geographically juxtaposed to the larger transformations of urban space in Istanbul in order to assess the kinds of governing forces that underlie the social and spatial experiences of increasingly mobile and globalized urban populations.

How generations remember: an ethnographic study of post-war Mostar, Bosnia and Herzigovina (completed)
Monika Palmberger
Mostar is a city that has witnessed profound political, economic and societal changes in the twentieth century with the formation and eventual break up of socialist Yugoslavia. The latest and most severe changes as a result of the war fought in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995 left Mostar, a once multinational city, divided into two parts, one Bosniak-dominated, the other Croat-dominated parts. The thesis examined how, in this post-war and post-Yugoslav context, members of different generations, with distinct personal experiences and exposure to different public discourses and historiographies, give meaning to their society’s and their own pasts.
A central question ran through this project: how do individuals of different generations position themselves in relation to the fractures and turning points of history when narrating their lives in terms of national identity and coexistence? This led to two further questions: how do people ground their identity in the past within a society that has seen so many political ruptures? And when do individuals relate their personal memories to national historiographies, and when do they dissociate them from them? Rather than concentrating on the narration of particular events, my interest lies in how central political periods in BiH are narrated and in the meanings they assume in the life narratives of individuals of different generations.
In this thesis I showed how, after experiencing severe changes, individuals reflect on their lives and on the history of the society they are bound to by rethinking the past, (re)positioning themselves in the present and (re-)envisioning the future. I argued that generational positioning, seen in terms of age as well as stage of life, is crucial in this threefold process of reorientation. In explaining the latter it is important to consider not only the stage of life individuals found themselves in at the time of the event they are narrating, but also the stage of life they are in when they are actually narrating it. Even though there is little interaction between Bosniaks and Croats in Mostar and their respective histories are written antithetically, I revealed common discursive tactics which run along generational rather than national lines.

Imaginaries of opportunity: precarious mobilities in and out of conflict in East and Central Africa (completed)
Léonie Newhouse
In her current work, Léonie takes up the ways in which large-scale humanitarian interventions reshape regional migration patterns, economies and social relations in urban centres in East Africa. International stabilization efforts, including humanitarian relief and peace-building operations, are accompanied by enormous flows of financial and material resources into struggling economies that have been further eroded by conflict and crisis. While research has shown that complex emergencies bring influxes of skilled professionals and foreign currency to areas in crisis, we know less about the ways in which these efforts restructure imaginaries of risk and opportunity for migrants within the region. Through ethnographic investigation and analysis, Léonie’s work identifies the routes that lead people to set up businesses in cities in crises, as well as the broader networks of migration, mobility and finance within which they are situated.

Immigrants in German city councils (completed)
Project leader: Karen Schönwälder
Researchers: Cihan Sinanoglu, Daniel Volkert, Chris Kofri
This project is conducted in cooperation with the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, Berlin, and with the support of the Mercator Foundation, Essen. It aims to assess the level of immigrant (individuals with a migration background) representation in the 77 German cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Based on a detailed analysis of the official lists of candidates and of the official election results, we investigate to what extent the immigrant population is represented in the councils, how the different political parties fare in this respect, and what differences exist between regions and cities. This is the first comprehensive and detailed analysis for German cities.
Second, we want to gain insight into the motivations and career paths of councillors with a migration background and research their perceptions of barriers and positive conditions for immigrant political careers. To this effect we will conduct a survey and personal interviews with councillors with a migration background.
Results of the study were presented in Berlin on 29 June 2011. A longer publication and an abstract of the study can be found here.
Study pdf · Abstract of the study pdf · Photos Link

Immigrants in German politics: local elections and local parliaments in Northrhine-Westfalia (completed)
Christiane Kofri, Karen Schönwälder
This project on the local elections in Northrhine-Westfalia (on 30 August 2009) and the incorporation of immigrants into local politics forms part of our research on the political participation and incorporation of individuals with a migration background more generally. Taking the largest German state as an example, we investigate questions such as the extent to which individuals with a migration background are represented in local parliaments. Do the political parties make efforts to win the support of this group of the population? Is their attitude towards immigrants inclusive and have they fielded candidates from this group? To what extent do the immigrants themselves take part in the local political process? How can we explain processes of opening and closure as well as different degrees of participation? Our research involves a survey in selected cities, analyses of the elections and of media reporting.

Immigration and political socialization (completed)
Alex Street, Michael Jones-Correa (University of Pennsylvania), Chris Zepeda-Millán (Loyola Marymount University)
International migration provides new opportunities to study how people learn the skills and habits of democratic citizenship. Migrants and their parents can experience very different political circumstances, making it easier to identify the effects of the political context on political learning. This project focused on a stark contrast that arises due to US immigration and citizenship laws. Millions of people born in the USA are growing up as citizens, even though their parents are denied most civil and political rights as ‘illegal’ immigrants. With funding from the Russell Sage Foundation and Cornell University, we conducted an opinion survey of one thousand US-born Latinos with immigrant parents in August 2013 to gather information on socialization processes and political behaviour.

International policing, mobility and crime in Southern Africa (completed)
Darshan Vigneswaran
This project examines how the internationalisation of policing is transforming the way mobility is policed in Southern Africa. Working in collaboration with anthropologist Julia Hornberger of the Forced Migration Studies Programme, WITS University, we trace how national and international institutions police the movement of humans, goods and intellectual property across borders through ‘up close’, ethnographic and multi-sited research. Thus far our research has focussed on investigations of corruption and immigration control in Johannesburg. We are currently preparing an edited book manuscript which presents our findings thus far. The next phase of our project goes further, examining how transnational policing agendas are instigated, discussed and implemented across policing institutions in Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. Primary funder: Open Society Foundation of South Africa.

Language factories: Cape Town, Kinshasa, Abidjan, Brussels (completed)
Karel Arnaut
In general terms, the Language Factories project consists in situating linguistics practices within a metanarrative of globalization and communicative praxis/poiesis in order to engage with the complexity of contemporary sociolinguistic super-diversity. To that end empirical as well as methodological and theoretical research is conducted which addresses processes of semiosis in contexts characterized by ever increasing (unequal) mobility (circulation, interaction), connectivity (networking, belonging), and intricate mediation. The overall challenge of Language Factories consists in exploring how people use linguistic and, more generally, semiotic resources in order to reproduce, resist or rearrange existing or emerging patterns of diversity in dynamic interactive contexts such as learning, labour, socialisation, play, every day or ‘high’ performance, etc.
Patterns of diversity can be argued to gain complexity and unpredictability through on-going transnational exchange. The migration flows and the use of new information and communication technologies which constitute the latter, reach exceptional density and multi-layeredness in urban contexts, such as that of Cape Town, Kinshasa, Abidjan, and Brussels. First, the emphasis on globalization entails a general interest in the multiscalarity, the spatial, glocal character, of these cities, not only within a national-international framework but also within a world network of cities (in and outside the African continent). Second, the four cities’ history tallies in with super-diversity’s global chronology – marking the early 1990s as a watershed moment – and consists of (a) the transition to a more democratic system (Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa and later DRCongo) or new geographical- communitarian repartitions (Belgium), (b) regime changes and/or new types of identity politics, post-national imaginings, and conflicts, and (c) new migration flows in and out of the four cities either related to changed national and geopolitical configurations, and new local and global neo-liberal dynamics. A central concern of the Language Factories project is the ways in which these cities participate in overlapping, parallel or interconnected sociolinguistic processes.

Metoikos (completed)
Circular migration patterns in Southern and Central Eastern Europe: Challenges and opportunities for migrants and policy makers
Anna Triandafyllidou (European University Institute, Florence)
Circular migration between Ukraine and Hungary: Border zones, historical legacies and entangled policies
Ayse Caglar
Circular migration has increasingly become more readily acceptable by EU constituencies that are wary of the long term burden of integrating migrants not only in the labour market but also at the social and cultural level. It has been singled out recently by the EU and member state governments as one possible option that could maximise the benefits of economic migration and minimise its costs. These migration patterns are thought to avoid brain drain for developing countries in the EU neighbourhood and rather encourage brain circulation and investment back in the country of origin of social capital, human capital, and economic capital.
METOIKOS studies the links between different types of circular migration and processes of integration and re-integration in the countries of departure and settlement. This particular project at MPI focuses on ‘circular migration’ between Hungary and Ukraine. On the basis of fieldwork conducted in both countries, it aims to
- investigate bottom up circular migration processes, the migrants’ and the policy makers’ experiences and views on policies of mobility and integration
- identify the main challenges and opportunities involved in ‘circular’ migration for these countries, migrants and their families
- raise critical questions about the concept of ‘circular’ migration and develop new conceptual instruments for the analysis of recurrent migration patterns and incorporation processes they facilitate
- explore the temporalities of migration and border policies, the legacies of the border zones and the entanglements between diaspora and migration politics both in Hungary and Ukraine.
- develop policy recommendations for local, regional and national policy makers regarding this type of migration
- reflect critically on the categories of migration scholarship anchored and developed in close relation to the particular histories and experiences of migration to Western Europe
On the basis of a study of ‘circular’ migration between Ukraine and Hungary, this project will seek to frame these migration patterns and the impact of EU policies on them in relation to the historical legacies, different registers of mobility policies between these countries, as well as to the location of places of departure and destination of migrants within Hungary and Ukraine.

Migrants' interaction with the formal and informal state in the Russian Federation (completed)
Paul Becker
This doctoral research project examines the question of migrants’ interactions with the formal and informal state in the Russian Federation. The focus of the project is on the different resources and strategies that diverse migrant groups in the Federation adopt in order to negotiate with the formal and informal state in Russia.
By using multidisciplinary research methods, the project examines two core questions: what does a high share of informality on the part of the Russian state authorities mean for the everyday lives of international migrants and refugees in Moscow, and in which situations are they confronted with the formal and informal state? Moreover, how do migrant groups navigate the formal and informal state in accordance with their different migration channels, regional identities, language knowledge and gender?
For his research, Paul has been conducting fieldwork in Moscow as a site that accommodates the most international migrants and refugees in the Russian Federation. He collaborated closely with migrant organizations, human rights activists and lawyers of the ‘Memorial’. He also completed a period of voluntary service at the Civic Assistance Committee, an NGO that advocates the rights of migrants and refugees in Russia. He conducted qualitative in-depth interviews with migrants and refugees in Moscow who came from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Afghanistan, Syria, the Philippines and Sudan.

Migration (completed)
Steven Vertovec
With migration among the key issues at the top of public and academic agendas worldwide, this project has been commissioned by Routledge Publisher’s Major Works series to provide a core set of studies exploring migration’s many dimensions. The four edited volumes are thematically organized around 1. general theories of migration, 2. migration patterns and trends, 3. political debates and policy challenges, and 4. social processes and impacts surrounding migration. Each volume itself is arranged by way of core topics that have engaged scholars historically (with works dating from the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) and in recent years (including some of the most prominent debates and theoretical developments). Contributions include studies drawn from Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Geography and Political Science. Output: Vertovec, Steven (ed) [2010] Migration. Vol. I: Theories - Vol. II: Types - Vol. III: Trends - Vol. IV: Policies - Vol. V: Processes. London: Routledge Major Works series Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences.

Migration and diversity (completed)
Steven Vertovec
Human migration – whether regional, rural-urban or international – has always involves various kinds of social and cultural diversification. Following a theoretical introduction, this project involves the compilation of a reader of classic and leading articles for Edward Elgar publishers series International Library on Studies of Migration. Works are organized under the themes: Migration and diversity in history; Conceiving diversity today; Impacts of migration and diversity; Policies and practices; The diversity-cohesion debate; Everyday diversity; and Super-diversity.

Migration and forced labour in Southern Africa (completed)
Darshan Vigneswaran
This project links my current interests in questions of immigration control and the long term transformation of migration governance with Joel Quirk’s research on slavery and emancipation. Using support from the British Academy, the project draws together resources at the Forced Migration Studies Programme, WITS University with the Wilberforce Institute for Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull. The primary aim is to integrate a range of methodological and historical research expertise, in order to develop an innovative approach to migration in Southern Africa and a comprehensive vision of ongoing migratory processes. Thus far we have provided an important focal point for research on human movements in Africa, hosting two research conferences: In Search of Solutions: Methods, Movements and Undocumented Migrants in Africa (Johannesburg, 2008) and Slavery, Forced Labour and Contemporary Bondage in Africa (Hull, 2009). At present we are preparing an edited book collection based on the contributions to the second of these conferences. Both conferences have been accompanied by short courses in research methodology and historical analysis aimed at advanced graduate students and practitioners. The next phase of the project will involve hosting a Writer's Research Workshop in Maputo, Mozambique in August 2010 entitled Theorising the State and Mobility in Africa. Primary funder: The British Academy.

Multiculturalism (completed)
Gerd Baumann (University of Amsterdam), Steven Vertovec
In recent years, multiculturalism has turned from a broadly shared ideal, implemented in a broad array of policies, into a controversial topic of derision and public debate. A collection of four edited volumes are being produced for Routledge Publisher’s Major Works series. The first volume in the series is entitled Conceiving Multiculturalisms, tracing the seemingly new concept of multiculturalism to long-standing arguments on tribal co-existence, human rights and civil rights to the rights to recognition; Volume II, Multiculturalism and the Nation-State, which assembles key research concerning the tensions between national, ethnic and religious identity politics; the third Volume, Multiculturalism and the Public Sphere, examines the difficult choices to be made between ideas of social integration and contending ideas of community rights, not least in schools and in the market place; and Volume IV, After Multiculturalism?, juxtaposes the major works dealing with the most urgent crises in multiculturalism, such as anti-multiculturalism and the revival of nationalism in the face of the new realities of transnationalism.

The occupation of space, hierarchy and intersectionality in Mumbai's suburban trains (completed)
Annelies Kusters
Deaf people in the Mumbai metropolis travel in train compartments reserved for the disabled, chatting and exchanging news and information. These spatial practices are facilitated by the peninsular geography and train infrastructure of Mumbai. In order to produce deaf spaces where deaf sociality and sign-language use are the organizing principles, deaf people strategically board particular trains and particular compartments, and sometimes remain in the train beyond their original destination. Mobile phones are used to coordinate these meetings. The diversity of people meeting in the train is high – for example, with regard to gender, age, religion, caste and class – and divisions are either perpetuated or abated. Because these compartments provide a diverse range of deaf people with a space for daily meetings on the way to and from their (mostly hearing) work places and families, they are very important spaces in which to maintain and expand networks in the wider Mumbai deaf community.
These compartments for disabled people are also characterized by frequent encounters and interaction between deaf and non-deaf passengers. The compartments have increased in size over the years, and consequently the body of travellers has become more diverse, such as an increase in the numbers of women, but also of unauthorized travellers such as senior citizens, transgenders, schoolchildren and large numbers of male, able-bodied encroachers. Passengers produce hierarchies based on need, physical differences, age differences and physical appearance, determining who can enter the compartments and who ca not, who can sit and who should stand, and where they should sit or stand. These hierarchies are mediated, but not dominated, by medical and disability certificates which are, in addition to a valid ticket, the documents that entitle people to travel in the handicapped compartments. Hierarchies are influenced by sexism, classism and audism and partially overlap but are also competing, as in the case of the deaf, who argue for the right to occupy seats and at the same time struggle with how to balance this quest with the need to act morally towards fellow travellers who are seemingly suffering. In short, the research provides insights into encounters within urban networks and of the process of negotiating the diversity of travellers.

Older migrants in Vienna: aging and social relations (completed)
Monika Palmberger
The research conducted in Vienna centred around the themes of urban diversity, migration and the life course. It focused on older migrants who have spent a great part of their lives in Vienna and who have retired or will soon do so. The migrant group in question immigrated to Vienna between the mid-1950s and the mid-1970s and consists of labour migrants (so-called Gastarbeiter) mainly from the former Yugoslavia and Turkey, as well as refugees of European and non-European origin. The shared experience of being one of the older and more established migrants in Vienna, and not one’s place of birth, was decisive in the selection of informants.
This research project aimed to shed light on the still widely unexplored older migrant population, including not only the Yugoslav and Turkish Gast­arbeiter, as in the small number of existing studies, but also on those with different migration histories and places of birth. This research project explored the older migrants’ social practices, particularly in their immediate surroundings, their neighbourhood, as well as imaginations and understandings of successful aging, which are expected to include a strong transnational dimension. Concerning social relations in the neighbourhood, I am particularly interested in the relations of the older established migrants with those who have migrated to Vienna more recently. Of particular interest are identities that cut across ethnic boundaries and bear the potential to link ‘old’ and ‘new’ migrants, e.g. the identity of being a labour migrant or a refugee.

Political institutions and the challenge of diversity (completed)
Karen Schönwälder, Cihan Sinanoglu, Alex Street, Daniel Volkert
How do the political institutions and the political lives of countries, cities, and supranational units, reflect the diversity of their populations? What does an immigrant or an ethnic minority background mean for the ability to participate politically and to aspire to political power? These overall questions motivate a number of projects, completed and ongoing.

Political parties and diversity at the local level: a comparison between Berlin and Paris (completed)
Daniel Volkert
Due to the increasing diversity of Western states, social actors and institutions are being confronted with new challenges. Political parties are especially affected for two reasons. First, one of their central functions is the representation of citizens in legislative bodies. Secondly, political parties play a critical role in the political incorporation of individuals, as they are central to decision-making processes regarding social, political and economic issues.
Consequently, I ask how political parties cope with this diversity on the local level. With the help of a comparative study of Berlin and Paris, the project will investigate if and how the challenges of diversity are being addressed by the main German and French popular parties in areas with a diverse population.

Post-multicultural cities and the politics of diversity (completed)
Maria Schiller
The concept of diversity has been taken up by many European municipalities in recent years, marking a change in accommodating the settlement of migrants in the city. Local diversity policies are meant to address not only ethnic differences, but to create an integrated municipal approach towards differences based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability. To date, however, it has been unclear whether the aim is to activate individual talents to make society more productive, or to continue pursuing equality between particular minorities. Is diversity just continuing with the ideas and activities of previous multicultural policies under a new label? This project investigates the implementation of these local diversity policies based on qualitative data from Amsterdam, Antwerp and Leeds and assesses how the notion of ‘diversity’ becomes defined in practice. Three journal articles arising out of this project are currently in preparation. One explores the structural changes in municipal organizations that result from diversity policies. It demonstrates how separate structures, expertise and activities for a variety of categories have been combined in diversity units and pinpoints the resulting re-definition of municipalities’ approach to questions of difference. Another article investigates the self-representation of municipal officers who have been recruited to implement diversity policies and the ongoing processes of negotiating the competences and knowledge needed to work on ‘diversity’. It illustrates the interplay between organizational expectations and officers’ own motivations, thus exposing the resulting fault lines among diversity officers. The third article discusses the alleged replacement of policies that had been characterized as ‘multicultural’ by introducing ‘diversity’ policies. Based on an examination of activities carried out under the heading of ‘diversity’, it identifies the continued existence of ideas of multiculturalism, while also demonstrating how these ideas are combined with not necessarily compatible ideas and principles tied to the concept of diversity.

Publication project crises and diversification (completed)
Special issue of Anthropology & Medicine "Therapeutic crises, diversification and mainstreaming" - Edited by Gabi Alex, Kristine Krause and David Parkin
This special issue is about the multiple intersections of therapeutic knowledge, crises and processes of diversification and mainstreaming. It starts not from a set definition of, say, medical ‘crisis’ but from the realisation that knowledge practices themselves construe crises (e.g. knowledge about epidemics, genetic testing, divination practices), thereby producing new forms of differentiating bodies and relations and/or naming and ordering them. With the two other central terms of this special issue, diversification and mainstreaming, the editors of this special issue aim to refer to these processes. Diversification is understood here not only as the multiplication of differentiation, but as the increasing complexity resulting from the intersection and interaction of multiple markers of difference. The term mainstreaming refers to processes which are undertaken in order to accommodate difference. It is a term used in the field of gender politics to describe the movement of gender issues from a specialized niche to an integral part of all levels of politics. However, in this special issue, the term is used in its popular understanding as in the fields of music or fashion to refer to the development of common genres and styles.
Crises can be turning points leading to standardization and mainstreaming: in standardization, authorities impose directives and controls to curb and dissolve the crisis; in the case of mainstreaming, different interest groups and individuals try to make sense of the crisis by reconciling the different interpretations made of it. In this struggle to control or make sense of a crisis, old medical categories may clash or merge with newly created ones in a process of on-going diversification.

Re-casting local laïcité: the local governance of religious diversity in France (completed)
Julia Martínez-Ariño
The overall question of my project is how French cities respond to ethno-religious diversification. How are French secularism and colour-blind republicanism being re-shaped and re-fashioned at the local level? In particular, I am investigating the incorporation of diversity (in my case mainly through, but not limited to, religious organisations) into local governance. More precisely, the research focuses on four main aspects of the local governance of religious diversity:

  1. Faith involvement in local governance. To what extent are religious groups and organisations considered legitimate partners in the local governance of urban diversity in French cities?
  2. 'Policy instruments' for the governance of (religious) diversity. What public policy instruments do local actors use in responding to urban (religious) diversity? Why do cities adopt these specific policy tools?
  3. The local (re-)definition of membership of the nation. How are the boundaries of the membership of the nation being reshaped at the local level? How are ethnic and religious differences played out in these contexts? What are the narratives and discursive formations that drive, and result from, cities’ responses to diversity?
  4. (Religious) Minorities’ claim-making. Are minority groups able to mobilise and assert their claims to local policy-making through their participation in governance networks?

Methodologically, I adopt a mixed-methods approach combining in-depth interviews with observations and network analysis in three medium-sized cities in France.
I have published an initial article analysing the interaction of religious organisations and local government in the city of Rennes. I am currently working on two other articles exploring the role of cities in the governance of religious diversity.

Rhetoric of crisis: German municipalities’ response to the refugee influx (completed)
Annett Fleischer
Within the framework of the larger project, ‘Diversity of Asylum-seekers’ Needs and Aspirations’, the sub-project ‘Rhetoric of Crisis’ explored how local municipalities have responded to the recent influx of refugees into Germany. Interviews with political and administrative representatives in local municipal institutions showed that the arrival of asylum-seekers was often perceived as an exceptional and unprecedented situation. Interview partners in the city council and the department of social affairs in the city of Göttingen used the rhetoric of crisis to describe these circumstances, but even more importantly, to justify and introduce extraordinary measures and interventions. The ‘necessity to act now’, as the interview partners described it, also served as an explanation for exceptional measures such as the construction of collective housing centres for asylum-seekers on the outskirts of the city, despite an agreement to accommodate asylum-seekers in apartments. By unpacking the rhetoric of crisis, the study contributes to the current debate on the so-called refugee crisis in Germany and to the academic discourse on crisis representation.

Roma and health care: a case study of reproductive health and cultural difference in Madrid (completed)
Beatriz Martín Aragón
My PhD research focused on Roma women’s experiences of reproductive health in the context of local structures of health care and in dynamic relation to the experience of health-care professionals working with Roma patients. The research aimed to disentangle the different factors that shape access to and the provision of health care for this group and the multiple ways in which notions of culture, diversity and ethnicity are used in clinical settings and biomedical research for and about Roma.
The project examines notions of cultural competence and diversity in health-care institutions. One of the objectives is to analyse what is conveyed by using culture as an analytical tool in biomedicine, when it becomes significant to note culture, and how it relates to other categories such ethnicity or race. I focused specifically on a culturally different group that has a special history and tradition in Spain, the Roma or Gitanos. On the one hand, I aimed to understand how, on the epistemological level, medical knowledge produces diversity by describing and classifying bodily differences based on cultural or ethnic categories. On the other hand, understanding the pragmatic significance of ideas such as culture or ethnicity in he everyday provision of health care was another objective of this project. In addition, I sought to understand better how those categorized in this way, in this case Roma women, perceive, interiorize or contest this knowledge.

The Routledge International Handbook of Diversity Studies (completed)
Steven Vertovec
Commissioned by Routledge publishers, this multidisciplinary Handbook will be comprised of chapters written by experts exploring a range of topics relevant
to the notion “diversity”. The Handbook will uniquely provide a set of tools for understanding diversity through constitutive categories, historical cases and specific settings. Moreover, the Handbook will be published at an important juncture, when the concept itself is both highly topical and taking on new meanings and significance. Contributions from some fifty authors from around the world. Chapters are not intended to provide definitions, intellectual histories or state-of-the-art summaries: rather, each chapter represents a conceptual and theoretical challenge to the overall field. This is in keeping with the idea of Routledge handbooks, which is to set the research agenda for the next five years, to redefine existing areas within the context of international research, to highlight emerging areas and to provide graduate students with ideas/encouragement for future research activity.

Social relations in super-diverse London (completed)
Susanne Wessendorf
Urban areas in the UK and internationally have seen significant changes in patterns of immigration in the past two decades, leading to profound demographic diversification. This diversification is not only characterized by the multiplication of people of different national origins, but also differentiations in terms of variables such as migration histories, religions and educational backgrounds, length of residence and socio-economic backgrounds. This has resulted in ‘super-diversity’ – a condition of more mixed origins, ethnicities, languages, religions, working and living conditions, legal statuses, periods of stay and transnational connections than Britain has ever faced (Vertovec 2007).
How has the diversification of diversity impacted on social life locally? How do people deal with this new social reality? How do residents get along in a context where so many people come from elsewhere? And what shapes their perceptions about each other? This project presented an in-depth study of super-diversity as a lived experience. It investigated how people deal with the ever more confusing demographic composition of 21st century urban areas, and how they navigate social spaces in a context where no majority group exists. Based on eighteen months of in-depth ethnographic fieldwork in the London Borough of Hackney, the project situated local narratives about life in this super-diverse area within larger contemporary debates on immigration and social cohesion. It asked what social relations look like in a super-diverse area ten years after the publication of the famous Cantle Report, which, in reaction to the riots in northern UK towns in 2001, painted an infamous picture of groups living ‘parallel lives’ (Cantle 2001). In a super-diverse context, does this policy discourse, which emphasises the need to enhance meaningful interchanges and build cohesion, make sense? Do people live separate lives in super-diverse contexts? How do they structure their social relations in different public and semi-public spaces? And do the recent August 2011 riots have anything to do with diversity? The findings of the project show an important move away from discourses surrounding multiculturalism and cohesion by demonstrating that on the local level, rather than forming major social challenges, ethnic and religious differentiations have become a normal part of everyday life. At the same time, generational and racial boundaries persist, with young black people forming the group against which the rest of the population, regardless of their own backgrounds or ethnicity, holds most prejudice.

Socialising with diversity (completed)
Numerical Smallness, Social Networks and the Super-Diverse City
Fran Meissner
The notion of superdiversity demands a move beyond an ethno-focal analysis of migration related diversity and calls to analytically incorporate other aspects of diversification, including differential migration, legal status and labour market trajectories. Taking London and Toronto as field locations and working with Pacific Island and New Zealand Māori migrants, this project investigated how a superdiversity lens can be operationalised and utilised to discuss migrant socialities in urban contexts. The project methodologically explored one particular avenue for doing this - personal social network analysis. The overall aim was to better understand the theoretical and empirical implications of adopting a superdiversity approach. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis strategies were used. The project findings particularly emphasise the potential of visualising complex patterns and thus exploring how starting with complexity as an assumption facilitates the multidimensional analysis a superdiversity lens calls for.
Focusing on networks of migrants who in statistical terms are often categorised as ‘other’ – who have relatively few co-migrants in terms of place of origin but who are differentiated in terms of other superdiversity aspects – this research questions if and what impact small group size has on patterns of sociality. With this focus it was established that a) the numerical size of the origin group impacts on social activities differently depending on whether one small group is explicitly linked to other pan-ethnic groups or not; b) that sociality patterns of migrants emerge from the complex interplay of general socialising opportunities but are also linked to individual trajectories of migration and settlement; and c) that with a superdiversity lens it is indeed possible to move beyond the ethnic network notion. To support this latter point four alternative ways of describing migrant networks are explored: city-cohort, long-term resident, superdiverse and migrant-peer networks. The analysis contributes to theoretical debates by proposing a relational understanding of diversity rather than one based on the enumeration of categories be they ethnic or otherwise.

Socio-cultural diversity and political issue deliberation in northern Ghana (completed)
Elena Gadjanova
In a completed fieldwork project on socio-cultural diversity and the deliberation of political issues in northern Ghana, Elena examined how cross-cutting social cleavages affect voting patterns and salient political issues in the context of rising competitiveness in Africa. The project relied on interviews and focus-group discussions with local politicians and opinion leaders, as well as an original voter survey in two highly diverse rural districts in Ghana’s Upper East Region.

Superdiversity and pathways to health care (completed)
Charlie Davison (Essex), Gill Green (Essex), Hannah Bradby (Warwick), Susann Huschke (Berlin), Gabi Alex (Tübingen), Kristine Krause, Felipe Morente Mejías (Jaén), Inmaculada Barroso Benítez (Jaén)
The health-care systems of European countries share the challenge of caring for an increasingly diverse population. Processes of socio-cultural diversification thus include not only the influx of newcomers who carry with them different languages and variegated understandings of health care and healing, but also the heterogenization of values and norms within the settled population. The advantage of a diversity perspective lies in viewing both developments together. The recently developed concept of ‘superdiversity’ presents a new opportunity for understanding the politics of belonging in contemporary Europe. It presents an innovative perspective on social stratification and a new lens to look at migration-related ethnic diversity. Transcending previous theories of multiculturalism, it recognizes a level of socio-cultural-economic-legal complexity distinguished by a dynamic interplay of overlapping variables, including country of origin (ethnicity, language, religious tradition, regional and local identities etc.), migration experience (often strongly related to gender, age, education, social networks and economic niches) and legal status (implying a wide variety of entitlements and restrictions). The aim of the project is to develop ways to account better for this complexity in research on pathways to health care. The research results will inform an international, comparative research proposal.

Super-diversity, urbanization and mobile communication technologies in Africa’s cities (completed)
Naluwembe Binaisa
This research project investigates the nexus between super-diversity, urbanization and mobile communication technologies with a focus on Africa’s cities. Africa is urbanizing rapidly, and cities are the locus of these demographic shifts, heightened mobility and immobility. The research investigates how the use and appropriation of mobile communication technologies reveals patterns of super-diversity in these increasingly networked cities. Cities are sites of social transformations spanning physical and social boundaries that are only partially captured through a focus on urbanization. This project seeks to disrupt simplistic binaries and trace the intersectionalities of social mobility, ethnicity, development, gender, generations and evolving spatial re-configurations within Africa’s cities. Fieldwork has been conducted in Lagos, Nigeria, the project adopting a comparative dimension across communities within this city to reveal contested boundaries of governance and mobilization. In Lagos, for example, the ongoing Lagos Megacity re-development plan, heralded as a success in providing infrastructural development, planned housing and recreational spaces, is also criticized for entrenching inequalities. The research project aims to enhance understanding of how, in Africa’s cities, social, political and economic spaces are being disrupted, re-formed, re-inscribed and networked with wider national, regional and transnational spaces through the use of mobile communication technologies. Utilizing innovative mobile methodologies, visual and digital mapping, interviews and archives, the research will promote a multi-dimensional understanding of super-diversity in Africa’s cities.

Tensions of diversity: living and planning in globalizing urban spaces (completed)
Felicity Hwee-Hwa Chan
Habitual contact with multiple ethnicities and nationalities brings about the opposing effects of hostility and opportunities for intercultural learning. As gateways of global immigration, city neighbourhoods are controversial spaces where fear, friction and indifference are palpably experienced in the expression of habits and cultural values. However, the daily cheek-by-jowl urban living with different ethnicities and immigrants in cities is capable of catalyzing productive tensions between different cultures through moments of unexpected (un)learning. These tensions of diversity destabilize the status quo and challenge individuals to confront their prejudices and fears by stretching their horizons through exchange. Better mutual understanding between individuals with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds can grow out of these urban interactions. The project thus sheds light on how urban policies and planning can strategically remould the tensions of living in culturally complex cities at the crossroads of global immigration through purposeful intervention in urban life.
Through the empirical lens of three culturally diverse and socio-economically different neighbourhood settings in Los Angeles, the project mapped out the contours of tensions in the sharing of urban living space through interviews, cognitive mapping and survey with participants who live, work or regularly visit the neighbourhoods. What different kinds of tensions can emerge from the routine sharing of globalizing urban space, and why do these tensions arise? What is the role of urban space in stoking negative tensions and generating creative ones? How is local belonging created in a diverse globalizing city? The project took these qualitative analyses a step further by synthesizing them with the results of a survey conducted with participants to identify the locations and characteristics of urban spaces that are opportune for intercultural learning and understanding. What are the practical opportunities that existing local public spaces can offer for the creation of intercultural understanding? How can urban spaces become the catalysts of productive tensions? How must the planning and design of settings of human diversity be transformed to mediate these tensions and encourage productive intercultural exchanges?

Theorising transnational migration. The status paradox of migration (completed)
Boris Nieswand
Although transnational migration studies have well documented migrants’ cross-border activities, there are few empirically grounded efforts to theorise these developments within the framework of integration and status theory. The book centers around the well-grounded theorem of the status paradox of migration and how it is linked to migrants’ multiple incorporation within and across national borders. The status paradox describes a problem which is characteristic for a larger class of labour migrants from the global south, a class that is neither highly qualified according to the standards of the receiving country nor unqualified according to the standards of the migrants’ countries of origin. These migrants often lose social status, which they were able to claim in their countries of origin with reference to their education and/or their professional experiences, because their qualifications are devalued on the labour markets of the destination countries of migration and they are therefore forced to accept unskilled low-wage jobs. At the same time, global economic inequalities and facilities for the transfer of resources provide the same group of migrants with opportunities to establish a middle-class status in their countries of origin and to overtake parts of the ‘local’ middle classes there. In this sense, migrants gain status in the sending countries by simultaneously losing it in the receiving countries of migration. This transnational dynamic of status attainment, which, as will be shown, accompanies specifically national forms of status inconsistency, is called the status paradox of migration.
The selected empirical case of Ghanaian migrants is well-suited for examining these broader theoretical questions. Ghanaians are one of the largest groups of Sub-Saharan Africans in Europe and extended their geographical scope of labour migration earlier than many comparable African groups. Due to differences in general wealth levels between West Africa and Western Europe and the fact that forms of multiple socio-economic incorporation are well-developed among Ghanaian migrants, Ghana is an ideal typical case to explore the conditions and consequences of the status paradox of migration.
The book has been published in the ‘Research in Transnationalism’ series by Routledge. http://www.taylorandfrancis.co.uk/

The transformative capacity of commemorating violent pasts (completed)
Claire Whitlinger
Within the past two decades citizens have become more likely to pressure their governments to acknowledge past wrongdoings. Thus commemorations, marches, memorials, trials, and truth commissions—all social phenomena meant to cultivate, and at times manipulate, collective memory—have become integral to political strategies for post-conflict reconciliation. The question of a commemoration’s causal power, then, has significant implications for social policy and the wellbeing of those who live in communities where, in Desmond Tutu’s words, the “past refuses to lie down quietly.” If governments, corporations, universities and local communities hope to commemorate violent pasts in productive ways, it is essential that we understand if, when, and how commemorations of violent pasts may spur social change.
This project explores these questions in the context of one community – Philadelphia, Mississippi – a city notorious for the silence and denial surrounding the 1964 murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner.
Drawing on insights from the historical sociological literature on temporal processes, this project will establish a detailed analytical narrative of the case based on a variety of data sources (archives, interviews, and participant observation) in order to evaluate if, why, and how the 2004 commemoration service in Philadelphia, Mississippi served as a critical conjuncture, the confluence of structural causes and events at a particular time that created a unique outcome, in this case, structural transformations across legal, educational, and political spheres. The project contributes to broader debates in sociology about social movements, collective memory, and institutional change.

Transnationalism (completed)
Steven Vertovec
Transnationalism refers to multiple ties and interactions linking people or institutions across the borders of nation-states. This single-authored book project surveys the broader meanings of transnationalism within the study of globalization before concentrating on migrant transnational practices. Each chapter demonstrates ways in which new and contemporary transnational practices of migrants are fundamentally transforming social, political and economic structures simultaneously within homelands and places of settlement. The book will be published in the ‘Key Ideas’ series by Routledge (New York and London) at the end of 2008.

Transnational community life: living apart, celebrating together, expanding social networks (completed)
Beate Engelbrecht
Since the 1940s, inhabitants of a Purhépecha village in Michoacán, Mexico, have been migrating to the U.S.A. Nowadays, they live all over the U.S.A. – some moving around from one place to the other, some settling down with their families thus creating small local communities. Some have achieved a legal status, others not; some have gained a quite secure economic position, others not; some have decided to live in the U.S., some are dreaming to return to their home village and others are forcefully returned. Instability is one of the daily experiences of Purhépecha migrants. In any case, their relation with the home village remains an important focus point.
The centre of most transnational interactions is the family. Nearly all families in the village have somebody living in the U.S.A.: subsequently, migration transforms the lives of individuals staying at home as well as abroad. In addition to financial remittances, migrants also send so-called social remittances such as ideas, practices, social capital, and emergent identities. However, family life among the migrants is different: they now have mixed marriages with non-Mexicans, meaning that their compadres (co-parents) are of different origins and children have friends of various backgrounds. Additionally, new relationships are developing at school, at the workplace or at leisure time activities.
Religion – the Catholic faith, vows to saints and the celebration of fiestas – are significant elements which tie together the members of the Purhépecha transnational community. Celebrations of fiestas in the places of destination are not only occasions to meet, but also opportunities to expand local social networks.
This research project particularly concerns Purhépecha migrants living in Florida. While first migrants from the village started to move in in the early 1990s, many have been ‘temporary migrants’ before they became settlers there. Living for so many years in the U.S.A., they have developed a specific transnational competence as well as a competence in living together in a quite diverse setting. The research concentrates on the organisation of feasts, which constitute a considerable challenge given community members’ dispersed living situation and already overloaded workdays in Florida.
The research focuses on three main topics: community building, transnational communication and representation, and questions of belonging. The findings will be analysed by way of theoretical concepts concerning local, transnational and parallel communities, audio-visual productions and the creation of virtual transnational spaces and social networks, and concepts of belonging including notions of origin, identity and orientation.

Transnational migrant ties: social formation and reproduction among Armenians in Germany (completed)
Astghik Chaloyan
This research is devoted to the study of migrants through the lens of transnationalism. By revealing characteristic manifestations of transnationalism, cross-border attachments and encounters, it addresses issues of dual senses of belonging, multiple self-identifications and correspondingly different modes of attachments to the homeland. This project shows how various configurations can condition relevant encounters and representations and how the latter, in their turn, are manifested differently in pertinent configurations. Several factors make the Armenian case interesting and worth studying. The Armenian diaspora is considered a classic diasporic group, and the history of Armenian migration and diaspora formation dates back to very early centuries. This project, based on the study of Armenians in Germany, therefore provides a solid background for understanding the questions mentioned above. It not only highlights the importance of different waves of migration and migrant generations from the perspective of transnationalism, it also points to the importance of distinct modes and conditions of migration. Thus, this research not only views modes of attachments to one’s country of origin and peculiarities of the sense of belonging from the perspective of different migrant generations, it also emphasizes the importance of so-called ‘once diasporized’ and ‘multiply diasporized’ migrants. Therefore, this project studies the social formation and reproduction of transnational ties amongst Armenians in Germany. It puts forward the questions of whether transactional activity/ties/practices survive over generations and what kinds they are. Furthermore, the goal of this research is to determine whether, and to what extent, transnational engagements influence self-identification and the sense of belonging, and how this in its turn impacts on perceptions of components of belonging. This study therefore also takes into account the question of the durability of transnationalism and reveals that, although the social practices and life-styles of the second generation are not the continuation of their parents’ transnational involvements and connections to the country of origin, they still bear the imprints of transnationalism. In addition, it concludes that cross-border ties do not necessarily need to be sustained and intensive; transnationalism, in its various manifestations, can instead undergo fluctuations. The project fleshes out different types of in-border and cross-border encounters and various modes of representations, thereby envisaging new concepts and explanations regarding such phenomena as transnationalism.

Unrecognized multiculturalism from below-Macedonian realities (completed)
Goran Janev
The dominant ethnonationalist discourse in Macedonia and across South East Europe often seeks to deny the region's long-standing condition of diversity. The most influential factor in the contemporary Macedonian society is the state with its institutions that are in turn under direct control of the ethnonationalist political parties. The effects are obvious, with almost every possible organized form of association, communication, education, music, sports and leisure being segregated. The resultant, top-down creation of parallel societies neglects many traditional aspects of positive interaction in neighbourhoods, markets, and the private sphere of everyday life. However, many habituated modes of inter-ethnic civility among Macedonian citizens tend to prevent an uncritical acceptance of politically-driven ethnonationalist divisions.
This research project unravels the social processes that have led to this institutionalised segregation, but more importantly to record and analyse the reactions to it -- ranging from endorsement, passive acceptance, modification, rejection, resistance, or more. The project research employs ethnographic methods and a diachronic approach toward policy development and modes of civility that regulate everyday interactions in Macedonia.

Urban populations and their social capital (completed)
Sören Petermann
Social capital is regarded as individual resources that can be accessed by the embeddedness in personal networks of kin, friendship and acquaintanceship. Social capital facilitates individual or collective action that otherwise would not take place. That means individuals can satisfy their needs in a better way if they use their social capital. But social capital is not equally available to all. The project investigates inequalities of social capital in terms of capital accumulation, capital compensation and opportunity structures (in particular the spatial dimension). These investigations are theoretically based on a micro level model that includes reciprocity and trust. The model will be empirically tested with individual survey data on urban populations in Saxony-Anhalt and North Rhine-Westphalia.

Voters and representatives: how does immigrant background matter? (completed)
Karen Schönwälder, Alex Street
In 2014, building on an earlier study, a population survey and a candidate survey among all candidates for major parties or lists in the local elections were carried out in four cities of Nordrhein-Westfalen. The data sets comprise of about 1000 responses in the population survey (half non-immigrants, half with migration background) and about 700 responses in the candidate survey. They provide the unique opportunity to investigate differences, and interactions, between electorate and activists, and to compare expectations and political preferences of immigrants and non-immigrants. Results have been presented at conferences, and publications, co-authored by Alex Street and Karen Schönwälder, are forthcoming.

Writing along the margins: literacy and agency in a West African city (completed)
Karel Arnaut
This project is a sociolinguistic, ethnographical and historical study of an autobiographical text entitled: ‘The companion: chronicle of a Nouchi at war’ (Le compagnon: journal d'un noussi en guerre). The text is written by Digbo Foua Mathias aka ‘Marcus Mausiah Garvey’ and covers more than one decade of his life (2002-2011). The general context of this literacy-focused and Abidjan-based project is the Language Factories: Cape Town, Kinshasa, Abidjan, Brussels project.
The research project deals with several critical aspects of the manuscript, grouped together under two main headings. Firstly, the project analyses how the manuscript is embedded in the sphere of Nouchi street talk/culture and more broadly in contemporary Abidjanese popular culture, politics, informal economic transactions, and everyday violence. While engaging with recent studies of Nouchi as the enregisterment of modernity (Sasha Newell), the project also looks at Garvey’s mixture of Ivorian French, Nouchi, and a series of other ‘lects’, as enregistering West African urban conditions of vernacular cosmopolitanism. As such they articulate aspired social and physical mobility. This interpretation will be largely based on recent sociolinguistic studies of heteroglossia, styling, and, super-diversity. Secondly, the project focuses on literacy and ethnography, on writing praxis and, most importantly, the literary ideologies of the autobiographer and his social environment. While taking its lead from two major studies of grassroots literacy, the project examines not only the text’s embeddedness in orality (Fabian 1990) or in unequal globalization (Blommaert 2008) but also takes into account the writer’s authorial, performative and aesthetic operations/aspirations. This collaborative ethnographic-artistic project wants to make the most of the opportunity of having the author participating in the ethnography of the writing, editing, and publication process, in order to address key issues of local literary ideologies, textual mobility, and translocal valuation.