Working Paper series

IRiS Working Paper Series: Reimagining society in the age of superdiversityIRiS Working Paper Series: Reimagining society in the age of superdiversity

IRiS is one of the first research institutions globally that works to advance and promote expertise in the field of superdiversity. Our aim is to encourage discussion and provide up-to-date analysis at the forefront of this field.

The new IRiS working paper series aims to provide a platform for research that is theoretically and methodologically innovative, empirically grounded and policy relevant on the emerging field of superdiversity. Papers will address a range of topics including issues surrounding population dynamics, security, cohesion and integration, identity, global networks, rights and citizenship, service delivery, well-being, social exclusion and opportunities superdiverse societies offer to support economic recovery.

The IRiS working paper series is edited by Dr Nando Sigona and Dr Aleksandra Kozlowska at the Institute for Research into Superdiversity, University of Birmingham. We welcome proposals for IRiS Working Papers Series from researchers, policy makers and practitioners. For queries and proposals, please email:

List of Working Papers


IRiS WP 16-2017 [PDF]
Messaging in the Midlands: Exploring digital literacy repertoires in a superdiverse region
By Caroline Tagg and Esther Asprey
Abstract: This paper explores how individuals and communities living or working in the West Midlands exploit practices of ‘translanguaging’ in the maintenance of intimate relationships – that is, how they draw on features from various local (and far-flung) dialects, languages, styles, scripts and registers as expressive resources. [more...]


IRiS WP 15-2016 [PDF]
Adaptation of Health Services to Diversity: An overview of approaches
By Jenny Phillimore with Franziska Klaas, Beatriz Padilla, Sonia Hernández-Plaza and Vera Rodrigues
Abstract: This review focuses upon the literature that describes or examines the ways in which health services
have been reconfigured (or not) in light of changing demographics, namely the emergence of
superdiversity. [more...]

IRiS WP 14-2016 [PDF]
Bricolage: potential as a conceptual tool for understanding access to welfare in superdiverse neighbourhoods
By Jenny Phillimore, Rachel Humphries, Franziska Klaas and Michi Knecht
Abstract: The scientific and policy challenges emerging from the complexity associated with delivering welfare in an era of superdiversity have been noted... as providers struggle to communicate with, understand and meet the needs of service users.[more...]

IRiS WP 13-2016 [PDF]
Locality, neighbourhood and health: a literature review
By Simon Pemberton and Rachel Humphris
Abstract: Traditionally, the study of place in public health, epidemiology, medical geography and medical sociology has been neglected. However, over time there has been increasing recognition of the importance of place in shaping health. [more...]

IRiS WP 12-2016 [PDF]
Dimensions of Diversity: Terminology in health research
by Hannah Bradby and Tilman Brand
Abstract: This short review considers how ‘ethnicity’ and ‘superdiversity’ are used alongside ‘diversity’ in health research in a sample of recent journal articles. [more...]


IRiS WP 11-2015 [PDF]
Challenging the destitution policy: Civil society organisations supporting destitute migrants
by Adrian Randall
Abstract: This IRiS Working Paper reviews changes in the law on immigration and asylum affecting the support available to asylum seekers. In particular, the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 and successor legislation has made refused asylum seekers destitute by terminating support. [more...]

IRiS WP 10-2015 [PDF]
Call for consistent incorporation of superdiversity considerations in the European Court of Human Rights' (non-discrimination) jurisprudence
by Kristin Henrard
Abstract: Super-diversity may not yet be a term of art in the field of fundamental rights, courts are undoubtedly confronted with cases that de facto concern super-diversity, understood here as referring to various layers of ethnic population diversity and the related differential rights of the distinctive groups. [more...]

IRiS WP 9-2015 [PDF]
'All the people speak bad English’: Coping with language differences in a super-diverse context
by Susanne Wessendorf
Abstract: In recent years, there has been a surge in studies on immigration-related diversity and, more specifically, super-diversity. This paper gives an overview of recent academic debates on encounters in super-diverse urban contexts, drawing on theories which have focused on interactional principles in such urban spaces. [more...]

IRiS WP 8-2015 [PDF]
Superdiverse Britain and new migrant enterprises

by Trevor Jones, Monder Ram, Yaojun Li, Paul Edwards and Maria Villares
Abstract: Diversity has been framed either as positive for economic dynamism and prosperity in British urban spaces, contributing to greater competitiveness, attractiveness of cosmopolitan lifestyle as well as the growth of a variety of migrant enterprises, or as having a negative impact on average wages, job availability and welfare provision. [more...]

IRiS WP 7-2015 [PDF]
Migration and integration, A local and experiential perspective
by Gary Craig
Abstract: This working paper was originally produced for the KING programme, an interdisciplinary and international programme of research funded by the EU, exploring the factors facilitating or impeding the integration of migrants. [more...]

IRiS WP 6-2015 [PDF]
Social networks, social capital and migrant integration at local level - European literature review
by Marta Kindler with Vasselina Ratcheva and Maria Piechowska
Abstract: This Working Paper examines the state of knowledge concerning the relationships between social networks, social capital and migrant integration at local level. [more...]

IRiS WP 5-2015 [PDF]
The challenges of superdiversity for social housing
by Gail Walters
Abstract: The changing nature of many urban communities in the UK is providing challenges to traditional models of managing social housing. [more...]


IRiS WP 4-2014 [PDF]
Causes and experiences of poverty among economic migrants in the UK
by Simon Pemberton, Jenny Phillimore and David Robinson
Abstract: Poverty is an important driver of migration. Many people migrate to escape poverty. [more...]

IRiS WP 3-2014 [PDF]
Integration practice in the European Union. Initiatives and innovations by institutions and civil society
by Rachel Humphris
Abstract: This paper reviews integration practices undertaken by civil society and local institutions across European Member States that have been identified as [more...]

IRiS WP 2-2014 [PDF]
Researching social relations in super-diverse neighbourhoods. Mapping the field
by Susanne Wessendorf
Abstract: There has been a surge in studies on immigration-related diversity and, more specifically, superdiversity [more...]

IRiS WP 1-2014 [PDF]
Poverty among refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. An evidence and policy review

by Jennifer Allsopp, Nando Sigona and Jenny Phillimore
Abstract: This WP review focuses on the experiences of poverty among refugees, asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers, including women [more...]


See more publications by IRiS staff members