Infrastructures of superdiversity: Conviviality and language in an Antwerp neighborhood

Jan Blommaert

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    Based on fieldwork in the superdiverse neighborhood of Oud-Berchem (Antwerp, Belgium), this paper shows how vernacular varieties Dutch have become the lingua franca of the neighborhood, and are used in most cross-group interactions. This use of language contributes heavily to a high level of low-intensity empathy in the neighborhood - conviviality - and must be seen as an infrastructure which, in superdiverse contexts, enables a degree of social cohesion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)431-451
    Number of pages20
    JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
    Issue number4
    Early online date9 Jan 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2014


    • superdiversity
    • multilingualism
    • Dutch Language
    • social structuring
    • conviviality


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