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Super-diversity as a methodological lens calls for a study of dynamics of new and diversified social groups that moves away from more traditional approaches focused on ethnicity. In examining the potential of super-diversity as a methodological lens, I identify a risk of downplaying the effect of “old” categories of difference that are likely to continue to shape social structures as well as space. I propose a re-centering of power and inequality in the study of super-diversity by situating its study within an urban culturalist approach, with sociological tools borrowed from ethnomethodology and symbolic interactionism. This proposal is illustrated through the analysis of two public spaces in a super-diverse New York neighborhood. I conclude by raising questions about the use of super-diversity discourse in the public and policy spheres.


This is the author's manuscript of an originally published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, available at


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