Table Topics: Fighting Complex Structures with New Concepts: How “Superdiversity” Can Help Us Understand Contemporary Migration Flows

Laurence Lessard-Phillips (photo: private)

Since Steven Vertovec coined the notion of „super-diversity“ in 2007, it has gained in popularity in academic and policy circles. Talking about super-diversity is meant to provide a better understanding of changes ongoing in Western societies, especially among their populations, who are evolving quickly under the effect of new migration dynamics. Urban populations, in particular, are becoming more heterogenous and the social relationships more unstable.

In the research community, the notion raises hopes but also critiques, and is still facing several challenges, both in terms of theory building and implementation of methods.
Outside academia, super-diversity attracted some politicians and public institutions, but has also been defined and interpreted in different ways.

Alexandre Tandé (photo: private)

Alexandre Tandé (photo: private)

At the table, Laurence Lessard-Phillips and Alexandre Tandé will explore topics closely related to super-diversity and are particularly interested in discussing the following (and related) issues:

  • Definition of the notion of „super-diversity“ and core ideas of Vertovec’s seminal article.
  • How is super-diversity approached in academic research?
  • What is new in this approach, in comparison to older ones?
  • What kind of questions and challenges are raised by the notion, for both researchers and policy-makers?

Laurence Lessard-Phillips is honorary research fellow at the Sociology Department and the Institute for Social Change of the University of Manchester. She is currently working on a project entitled „Unity out of diversity? Perspectives on the adaptations of immigrants in Britain“, which will explore the perceptions of immigrant adaptation (and its dimensionality) in the spheres of academia, policy, and public opinion.

Alexandre Tandé is  is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. He joined the institute to work on the CityDiv project, investigating in particular how French urban actors shape new dynamics of diversity.


Max Weber Stiftung

The Max Weber Foundation promotes global research, concentrated around the areas of social sciences, cultural studies and the humanities. Research is conducted at ten institutes in various countries across the globe with distinctive and independent focal points. Through its globally operating institutes, the Foundation is able to contribute to the communication and networking between Germany and the host countries or regions of its establishments. By promoting scientific dialogue and merging academic as well as non-academic employees from several countries with different cultural backgrounds, the Max Weber Foundation is able to strengthen the Internationalization of research in its three fields of dedication.

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4 Antworten

  1. 17/11/2016

    […] New Concepts: How „Superdiversity“ Can Help Us Understand Contemporary Migration Flows Alexandre Tandé (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity) Laurence Lessard-Phillips (University of […]

  2. 07/12/2016

    […] with New Concepts: How „Superdiversity“ Can Help Us Understand Contemporary Migration Flows« Alexandre Tandé (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity) Laurence Lessard-Phillips […]

  3. 09/01/2017

    […] Thema der zweiten Runde ging es um den soziologischen Ansatz der „Superdiversity“. Diese von Steven Vertovec entwickelte Theorie möchte ein besseres Verständnis für die […]

  4. 24/05/2017

    […] Thema der zweiten Runde ging es um den soziologischen Ansatz der „Superdiversity“. Diese von Steven Vertovec entwickelte Theorie möchte ein besseres Verständnis für die […]

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