Babylon, Center for the Study of Superdiversity


Research vision

Globalization processes such as immigration and internationalisation lead to contact situations in which different people with their distinct languages and cultures meet. Such forms of contact have been labeled ‘superdiversity’, and our research program can be described as the study of language and culture in the context of superdiversity. These contacts have consequences at a content level, i.e., for the languages and cultures involved, at an individual level, i.e., for the users of these languages and cultures, and at an institutional level, i.e., for the societal structures in which language and culture contact is situated.

Globalization processes and their outcome, superdiversity, on the one hand pose a theoretical challenge: theoretical and methodological models have to be revised in view of an increasing knowledge on scaling processes, worldwide movements of people, goods, ideas, and a growing influence of telecommunication and new media in the communicative and cultural landscape. On the other hand, they also pose a descriptive challenge: these processes, movements and influences are not yet sufficiently understood and have to be analyzed in detail using a variety of research methodologies in a variety of sites and contexts, at the crossroads of science and society, and preferably at a world-wide scale.

Research at Tilburg School of Humanities: Department of Culture Studies

Rapid Social and Cultural Transformation: Online & Offline

Program leader: Ad Backus