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 dedicated to being at the cutting edge of research into superdiversity. To support this commitment we regularly publish working papers that seek to address emerging areas of interest in the field. By encouraging new research we continue to promote new discussion and the most up-to-date analysis. The series has enabled new approaches to policy and service delivery across health services, migrant rights, refugee integration and social housing.

The series is edited by IRiS Deputy Director Dr Nando Sigona and associate member Dr Aleksandra Kozlowska and is open for proposals from researchers, policy makers and practitioners. For queries and proposals, please email:



List of Working Papers


IRiS Working Paper 17 (2017) [PDF]
Super-diversity and the social production of space in a small Catalan town
By Martin Lundsteen
Taking its point of departure in the case of Salt, a small Catalan town located next to Girona, this paper analyses the everyday negotiation of the emerging ‘super-diverse’ reality outside the metropolis, yielding a specific focus to space. Employing the conceptual distinction developed by Setha Low between social production and social construction of space, recent historical developments in this rural-urban locality are analysed, accounting for the contested understandings of space and belonging. 

IRiS WP 16-2017 [PDF]
Messaging in the Midlands: Exploring digital literacy repertoires in a superdiverse region
By Caroline Tagg and Esther Asprey
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.


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
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

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
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.

IRiS WP 13-2016 [PDF]
Locality, neighbourhood and health: a literature review
By Simon Pemberton and Rachel Humphris
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.

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


IRiS WP 11-2015 [PDF]
Challenging the destitution policy: Civil society organisations supporting destitute migrants
by Adrian Randall
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.

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
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.

IRiS WP 9-2015 [PDF]
'All the people speak bad English’: Coping with language differences in a super-diverse context
by Susanne Wessendorf
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.

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

by Trevor Jones, Monder Ram, Yaojun Li, Paul Edwards and Maria Villares
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.

IRiS WP 7-2015 [PDF]
Migration and integration, A local and experiential perspective
by Gary Craig
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.

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
This Working Paper examines the state of knowledge concerning the relationships between social networks, social capital and migrant integration at local level.

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


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

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

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

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
This WP review focuses on the experiences of poverty among refugees, asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers, including women.


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