Publication details [#55704]

Thije, Jan D. ten and Annelies Messelink. 2012. Unity in Super-diversity: European capacity and intercultural inquisitiveness of the Erasmus generation 2.0. Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics 1 (1) : 80–101.
Publication type
Article in journal
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Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


Vertovec (2007) discusses super-diversity with reference to technological developments and increasing migration patterns which increase exposure to cultural diversity. As a consequence, 'the other' becomes less predictable and assumptions regarding cultural and linguistic features are less easily made (Blommaert & Backus, 2011, pp. 2-4). This paper examines students and graduates living in Brussels who have obtained significant experience working and studying in foreign countries: the Erasmus generation 2.0. This paper analyses discourse strategies used by members of the Erasmus generation 2.0 coping with super-diversity. The aim is to give insight into how members manage cultural and linguistic differences in interaction, and how this enables them to achieve unity in diversity. Instead of speaking of a European identity, the paper introduces the notion of 'European capacity', which denotes the ability to manage differences and multiple identities in interaction. European capacity emphasises how communicative competencies allow interlocutors to successfully operate in European multicultural and multilingual groups.