Super-diversity Discourse

Karel Arnaut, Max Spotti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionaryScientificpeer-review


Superdiversity discourse is a relatively new, primarily academic discourse whose increasing presence in the domains of social work, institutional policy, urban and national politics, and the media is signaling a rapidly growing uptake, albeit one that is disciplinarily fragmented and geographically unevenly spread. Arguably, superdiversity's uptake suggests that its discourse is catching the imagination of the humanities and social sciences as a recognizably productive and auspiciously novel vantage point, which sits comfortably with certain explicitly postcolonial anthropological and sociolinguistic takes on diversity and identity, as well as with more recent diversity-related shifts or “turns” toward (among other things) complexity and translocality—urban, digital, and so on. After presenting the notion of superdiversity, exploring its conceptual umwelt (environment) and its uptake, most prominently in sociolinguistics, this article turns to the future prospects and perceived dangers surrounding the discourse of superdiversity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction
EditorsCornelia Ilie, Karen Tracy, Todd Sandel
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)1118611101
ISBN (Print)9781118611104
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2015


  • discourse
  • Superdiversity
  • sociolinguistics
  • diaspora
  • cultural studies


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