Superdiversity

Challenging established views and policy responses to migration and its impact on societies in a rapidly changing world

The social landscape of Britain and other countries of immigration have been transformed in the past decade.

The arrival of new migrants from many different countries, combined with longer established communities from the Commonwealth, has resulted in an unprecedented variety of cultures, identities, faiths, and languages.

The speed, scale and spread at which these current new patterns of diversity have emerged is unprecedented and presents new challenges and opportunities to policymakers and practitioners, as well as to businesses, communities and migrants.

The Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) is the first institute in the UK and one of the first globally, to focus on superdiversity.  

Our research

IRiS is researching and developing a knowledge base of the changes, challenges and opportunities that result from superdiversity, to help governments and societies across the world to prepare for and adapt to those changes. Research includes:

  • Brexit and its impact on British and EU families, businesses and societies, access to welfare in superdiverse areas using the concept of bricolage to show how access to health services plays out at neighbourhood level; 
  • The SEREDA project, which explores the nature of sexual and gender based violence for refugees across the refugee journey and includes the first in-depth analysis of how such experiences shape individual’s ability to resettle.  

We are also undertaking a formative evaluation of the UK’s new Community Sponsorship Programme, which is shaping the development of the programme and of support services for the UK’s community sponsorship groups.  Our participation in the USE-IT project has resulted in training for refugee researchers who have been working with local groups in Birmingham to establish businesses and social enterprises. 

"Migration is a global phenomenon that transforms societies, connects distant places, and generates new opportunities and challenges. IRiS aims to contribute to a better understanding of migration and superdiversity leading to the creation of more inclusive and equal societies." 

Professor Jenny Phillimore

Professor Jenny Phillimore

Professor of Migration and Superdiversity

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  • SEREDA

    The SEREDA Project is using a social constructivist framework to understand the incidence and nature of SGBV experienced by women, men and child refugees who have fled conflict in the Levant Region.

  • The Institute for Research into Superdiversity IRIS

    The Institute for Research into Superdiversity is a world leading centre of academic study in the field of superdiversity and migration.

  • EU families and 'Eurochildren' in Brexiting Britain

    Through the study of Eurochildren and their families this project aims to portrait the emergence of a new politics of belonging which reconfigures who belongs to a post-EU Britain and establish a baseline for future research on migration and settlement decision making

  • Syrian Resettlement

    IRiS has developed a Toolkit and range of resources to inform and assist local authorities and practitioners resettle Syrian refugees

  • The MOSAIC Group for Research on Multilingualism

    MOSAIC was established provides a forum for the development of new, interdisciplinary lines of enquiry related to bilingualism/ multilingualism, multilingual literacy, bilingual education, second language learning and contemporary discourses about linguistic and cultural diversity.

  • Migration and Displacement

    The University of Birmingham is at the forefront of research into migration and displacement

Key Staff

  • Professor Jenny Phillimore

    Professor Jenny Phillimore is Director of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity and Professor of Migration and Superdiversity.

  • Dr Nando Sigona

    Dr Nando Sigona is a social scientist with over fifteen years research and teaching experience in migration, refugee, citizenship and ethnic studies.