Describing and disentangling superdiversity through social networks

Research output: Working paper


This paper is based on the analysis of 54 ego-centric network interviews conducted with migrants living in London and Toronto. With the backdrop that both of these cities can be considered as superdiverse socialising contexts the analysis aims to document how diversity can also be understood to be relational. To do this the paper first establishes the potential for diversity in the social networks and emphasises that this potential is embedded in changing trajectories of migration, labour market position and legal status. Subsequently, comparing attributes of respondents and their social contacts the paper shows that it is possible to measure homophily across a number of different superdiversity aspects. By visualising the resultant patterns of sameness, it does however become clear that those patterns are in fact very complex. In a final section the paper then tries to disentangle the visualised complexity using a fuzzy cmeans cluster analysis. Four socialising patterns are identified: city-cohort networks, peer group networks, long-term resident networks and superdiverse networks. The paper concludes by reflecting on how this analysis can contribute to shifting attention in researching the implications of international migration on urban social patterns towards appreciating and acknowledging patterns of complexity.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFirenze
PublisherEuropean University Institute Florence
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMax Weber Programme Working Papers
PublisherEuropean University Institute


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