This project investigates the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) for new migrants in superdiverse contexts. It explores whether CSOs are instrumental in the building of social relations during their settlement process. This social aspect of settlement, also described as social integration, is crucial regarding other aspects of settlement such as access to education, housing and the labour market. The project also looks at the role of CSOs regarding the relationships which long-term residents, both of ethnic majority and minority backgrounds, form with newcomers, addressing issues surrounding integration as ‘two-way-process’. The project will lead to novel findings because:
• Rather than focussing on established ethnic minorities, it investigates patterns of integration of people originating from relatively new source countries who settle into already superdiverse contexts
• It is situated within an emerging research field on new conditions of superdiversity which have rarely been explored systematically
• It goes beyond existing quantitative work on civil society participation
• It will develop theory around social contact, social capital and integration nuancing current thinking around the role of CSOs in settlement
Superdiversity has resulted from changing immigration patterns into Europe, with people entering cities in substantial numbers, and from far more countries of origin than ever before. This has resulted in a condition of more ethnicities, languages, religions, migration experiences, work and living conditions and legal statuses than many cities have ever faced (Vertovec 2007). By way of in-depth ethnographic fieldwork and interviews in two UK urban neighbourhoods, and drawing on existing theory, method and policy, the project will elicit how new migrants settle in such contexts, how long-term residents deal with unprecedented population changes, and what the role of CSOs is in this process.