Superdiversity: an answer to structural inequality?

Date: 30 November 2015

Venue: UAntwerp, Stadscampus, R.014 - Rodestraat 14 - 2000 Antwerp

Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Organization / co-organization: IOB and USOS

Short description: CANCELLED - Debating Development by Ben Rogaly (University of Sussex) and Paul Watt (University of London): This debate was cancelled due to transport issues

About the lecture
Many cities in the world are becoming increasingly diversified and complex. In contrast to previous modes of multi-culturalism, with a clear distinction between minority and majority groups, current urban dynamics jeopardize this social fabric in favor of cities where only minorities hold sway – a trend captured by the term ‘superdiversity’. This debate seeks to investigate the link between superdiversity and structural inequality.

For one, superdiversity provides economic, social and political opportunities for many people and social groups, given that the control of strategic goods, like state resources and import and export channels, get less centralized and hence more accessible. For the other, however, superdiversity implies a mere continuation of past patterns of migration, structurally layered, and thus consolidating traditional forms of inequality. Questions that will be addressed during this session are: how does superdiversity affect structural inequality? What new forms of structural mobility do we witness within such a context? And what happens with power relations within cities that are super-diverse? Answers will be formulated by zooming in on social dynamics within certain city neighborhoods in Western societies and beyond.

Moderator:  Stijn Oosterlynck (University of Antwerp)

Ben Rogaly is Professor of Human Geography, Head of the Department of Geography at the University of Sussex and a member of the Sussex Centre for Migration Research. He comes to Geography from an interdisciplinary social science background. Before joining Sussex in 2003, Ben was based at the School of Development Studies at the University of East Anglia, where he had been a member of faculty since 1996. He has also worked as a Research Officer at Oxford and Reading Universities, and as a policy advisor at Oxfam (UK).  Ben's doctoral research at Oxford University (completed in 1994) focused on employment arrangements for agricultural workers in West Bengal, India. He has subsequently led major research projects in the UK, India and Mexico.

Paul Watt is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Studies at Birkbeck University of London since 2007. Prior to joining Birkbeck, he was a Reader at the Policy Research Institute, University of Wolverhampton. Previously Paul has taught at the University of East London and Buckinghamshire New University. Paul Watt’s research interests span geography, sociology and social policy, with an over-arching research focus on the inter-relationship between social inequalities, space and place, especially in global cities and their hinterlands.





Stijn Oosterlynck is Associate Professor in Urban Sociology at the University of Antwerp, Sociology Department. He teaches courses on urban studies, poverty and social inequality. His research is concerned with local social innovation and welfare state restructuring, the political sociology of urban development, urban renewal and community building and new forms of solidarity in diversity. He currently coordinates a large-scale research project on solidarity in diversity (DieGem, IWT-SBO), is involved in several European collaborative research projects (ImPRovE, EU FP7 and Divercities, EU FP7) and is a partner in the Flemish Policy Research Centers on Spatial Planning (DURV, Flemish government) and on Poverty (VLAS, Flemish government). He holds a PhD in Sociology from Lancaster University in the UK.

Entrance fee: Free

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