Super-Diversity Throughout the World There Term Paper

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The report explains that these languages differ greatly depending on the neighbourhood or the area of the city. These differences exist because people from different countries of origin tend to settle in the same areas. For instance in a neighbourhood such as Harrow, with a large Asian population the top three non-English languages are Gujarati, Hindi/Urdu and Punjabi (Vertovec, 2006). On the other hand there are neighbourhoods in which the people speak languages from vastly different regions of the world. Such is the case in Merton where Creole and Cantonese are common languages (Vertovec, 2006).

This linguistic diversity can be a challenge for those institutions that compose the nation's infrastructure. These institutions include schools, local authorities and hospitals. Each of these institutions has to find unique ways of serving these diverse people groups that speak many different languages. For this very reason new initiatives such as that Language shop have been implemented (Vertovec, 2006). The Language Shop is an all-inclusive translation and interpretation service in more than 100 languages. This service is provided to Newham Council and its partners, including neighbouring councils and community groups (Vertovec, 2006).

In addition, Language Line is designed to assist health authorities and others in the public sector and provides both telephone and in-person translations in 150 languages (Vertovec, 2006).

In addition to understanding the variations that exist amongst religions and the challenges that are presented by language differences, the author insists that there is a great deal of complexity related to immigration status and the stratification of rights. According to the report there are different entitlements based on a single migrant status category. In addition there are often inconsistencies associated with the underlying principles of the system which was developed in an ad hoc manner over the course of several years (Vertovec, 2006). This system is reflective of competing pressures including whether to provide access to a service because the individual needs it, or because it is good for society (e.g. pubic health). Or whether to deny a service in order to protect public funds ensure that access does not prove an attraction for unwanted migrants or to appease public opinion. This means that neither service providers, advice-givers nor migrants themselves are clear as to what services they might be entitled (Vertovec, 2006)."

In addition, to the aforementioned issues there also exist in Britain broadly differing statuses even amongst individuals from the same ethnic background or nation of origin (Vertovec, 2006).

The report points out that among Somalis in the UK there are British citizens, refugees, undocumented migrants, asylum-seekers, and persons granted exceptional leave to remain. Because there are so many immigrant groups with varying statuses traditional notions of multiculturalism, are insufficient and unsuitable for meeting the needs of immigrants' (Vertovec, 2006).

Also as it relates to super-diversity transnational activities have also increased. That is, the new immigration is characterised by an increase in the connections that immigrants have to their homeland. Although some degree of transnationalism has always existed, the advents in technology such as ease of travel, the internet and the lower cost associated with international phone calls has allowed immigrants to maintain connections to their nations of origin (Vertovec, 2006). In some ways this presents an additional challenge for policy makers as the traditional notions of assimilation begin to disappear.

Overall the theory of super-diversity presented by Vertovec asserts that the heterogeneous nature of religion, language and immigrant status and transnational ties has transformed the traditional notions of multiculturalism and diversity. As a result of this transformation the theory of super-diversity has emerged as a theory to explain the complexities and factors that comprise this diversity.


The purpose of this discussion was to provide an overview and analysis of Steven Vertovec's newly developed 2006 theory of 'super-diversity'. The discussion also focused on how this concept of super-diversity evolved and developed out of the British concept of multiculturalism and how super-diversity relates to or within the theory of multiculturalism.

We found that traditional notions of multiculturalism are inadequate in confronting the various issues posed by 'the new immigrants'. The research also found that the United Kingdom has made significant adjustments as it relates to overcoming language and religious barriers.


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