Notions and practices of difference: an epilogue on the ethnography of diversity
The notion of diversity, which has gained increasing prominence in recent years, promises to rejuvenate migration research in terms of the theoretical and methodological lines of enquiry pursued, the empirical data generated and the interpretations and knowledge produced. By pointing to the existence of many possible forms of differentiation and belonging in social life, it offers a productive alternative to the ethnic framing that has characterised much migration research, whether large-scale quantitative surveys or small-scale ethnographic community studies. It, furthermore, can bring into sharper focus the significance of the temporal and spatial aspects of migration and related processes of inclusion and exclusion. Finally, it can stimulate the development of new, innovative research methods. There is still a need, however, to explore the complex nature of diversity as an empirical phenomenon and analytical concept. This is discussed with particular reference to mobility, contexts of sociality and the politics of academic concepts.