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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton August 11, 2016

Qualitative research in super-diverse schools

Christine Brigid Malsbary


Super-diversity is an important social field of analysis, diversifying and deepening the current base of research in multicultural education, bilingual education and in transnationalism in education. Researching super-diversity provides an intersectional lens from which to understand the relationship of race and language among myriad diverse immigrant groups, rather than the single-group studies that are common in education research studies. Secondly, researching super-diversity is both about capturing the joy and creative cultural production that occurs in spaces with multiple language groups, but to also attend to the racism and power that may look different in super-diverse spaces. The present article discusses techniques of data collection in super-diverse contexts that can give rise to these goals: researching horizontally and researching vertically. Researching horizontally means selecting participants in order to provide opportunities to see how youths’ creative cultural and linguistic repertoires of practice illuminate super-diversity. Researching vertically looks at how power reconfigures in super-diverse sites in relation to the ways in which diversity is managed and governed.


I thank Reva Jaffe-Walter and Gerald Malsbary for early comments that supported this project, and two anonymous reviewers. I especially thank my key informants without whom this research would not have been possible.


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Published Online: 2016-8-11
Published in Print: 2016-9-1

©2016 by De Gruyter Mouton

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