Sociolinguistics and Superdiversity: Innovations and Challenges at the online - offline nexus

Max Spotti, Jan Blommaert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter first takes stock of the prolific relationship superdiversity has had with sociolinguistics (Blommaert, Rampton, Arnaut & Spotti 2015; Blackledge et al. 2017) and the advancements it has helped the field make in reshaping its conceptual wealth and its methodological armour. From there, we set forth with an open reflection on the notion of ‘combinatorial spaces’ (Arnaut, Karrebaek & Spotti 2016) using it as a lens that - once appraised from an ethnographic interpretive perspective - could avoid the analysis of (im)mobility and complexity to fall into easy celebrations of individuality versus ‘bake and break’ hybridity. Last, we move toward gaining insight into the more recent application of superdiversity and sociolinguistics within the online-offline nexus putting it in relation to the recent re-appreciation of the notion of Durkheim’s sociation and of the ‘social fact’ (1895 [2010]). Ultimately, while trying to compound early prolific encounters of language and superdiversity with the online-offline nexus work in progress, we try to open up our analysis to new forms of imaginable vocabulary that may come to help the sociolinguistic ethnographic analyst that wishes to dissect human beings’ creativity as flagged out in every day communicative exchanges and socio-semiotic identity performances while tying it down to the importance of apres Durkheim’s work for furthering the understanding of the superdiverse ‘human in the digital’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Handbook of Superdiversity
EditorsSteven Vertovec, Fran Messner, Nando Sigona
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


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