Towards innovative mixed-methods approaches to studying living multicultural in small cities

Dr Stefano De Sabbata, Dr Matteo Dutto, and Dr Maarten Loopmans

Funding period: 1 September 2023 – 30 September 2024
Type of funding: Seminar Series

Host institutions: University of Leicester (United Kingdom), Monash University European Research Foundation (Italy), and KU Leuven (Belgium).
Dates: September 2023 (online), December 2023 (online), March 2024 (online), and September 2024 (Prato, Italy).
Lead organisers: Dr Stefano De Sabbata (University of Leicester), Dr Matteo Dutto (Monash University), and Dr Maarten Loopmans (KU Leuven)
Team members: Giorgia Mascaro (University of Leicester), Katy Bennett (University of Leicester), Alex Govers Lopez (KU Leuven), Lee Eisold (KU Leuven), Nadia Fadil (KU Leuven), Farah Kassem (KU Leuven), Lamia Mellal (KU Leuven), Hamza Esmili (KU Leuven), and Lore Janssens (KU Leuven).
Contact: Dr Stefano De Sabbata

Abstract: In a new era of global migration, diverse forms of urban mobility, migration settlement, and resettlement have contributed to the reshaping of national populations and localities, paving the way for new encounters, exchanges, and tensions. In this context, cities are not only the terrain on which these entangled relationships unfold, but these relationships shape them. Indeed, studies on multiculture demand a new focus on place and space because they are vital to understanding how multicultural social relations are enacted and lived.

Informed by the recent postcolonial turn in urban studies that calls for a decentralisation of urban theory, this seminar series will bring together academics, early career researchers and practitioners in thinking and learning about mixed-methods research practices for understanding and describing heterogeneous formations of multiculture across different local contexts in England, Italy and Belgium.

This seminar series will allow academics from different (sub)disciplines to showcase their research and thus establish new connections and collaborations. It will provide training in unfamiliar methods to provide participants with a deeper understanding of other (sub)disciplines and thus enable mixed-methods projects to function. It will act as an incubator for new collaborations to develop mixed-method research. Throughout the seminar series, we aim to embrace and champion an open scholarship, asking participants to share their notes and materials openly to benefit the other participants and the broader community.

The encounters and ideas emerging from this seminar series will allow us to better understand the opportunities and complexities involved in mixed-method comparative studies. They will also allow us to develop new methods and approaches, which will provide the urban studies research community with a point of reference for the use of mixed-methods approaches in comparative studies.