Identities, Diversity, and Inclusion (IDI)

The major interest of the members of the IDI group is to understand the structurally embedded struggles for participation and inclusion of individuals and groups in different social contexts. We understand identities as constructed and contested and investigate in our research how identities become (re)constructed under different constellations of power. We furthermore understand diversity and identity from an intersectional take, assuming that individuals are always multiply positioned through structural differences in gender, religion, class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and so on and that these different ways in which one is positioned interact. Given that many of the members of IDI are concerned with individuals and groups with a background of migration, displacement, or mobility, we approach identity from a transnational perspective, whereby we make an effect to avoid methodological nationalism in our research. Following the lines of critical theories, power and agency are the key notions bringing this group together. In addition to the visible and solid forms of domination or suppression that are at play in this era, we also focus on the normalized structures and discourses of exclusion. These are often taken for granted and therefore difficult to identify, let alone subvert. For example, various participation policies related to emancipation, integration, or belonging, which are assumed to be inclusive, can become sources of exclusion to the very people they profess to include.

The members of the IDI group research these processes and contradictions by considering the levels of policy, interaction, and experiences within the historically informed (discursive) structures in societies. They question the basic assumptions of these (discursive) structures and investigate the interaction between normalized structures and the positions and actions of individuals and groups. They try to discover how individuals participate in various societal fields and negotiate their positions within local, national, and global contexts. Most of IDI members are qualitative researchers (narrative approach and ethnography), some combine this with quantitative methodology.

Ghorashi is the Program Leader of IDI and within her chair Diversity and Integration supervises several PhD researchers, including the researchers from her recently funded VICI project: Engaged scholarship and Narratives of change in comparative perspective. Saharso is the Coordinator of the IDI group and next to her position at VU sociology also holds a personal chair (at UvH) Citizenship and Moral Diversity and supervises a PhD researcher funded by the CSC scholarship program and one external PhD researcher together with Saskia Keuzenkamp. Crul’s chair Diversity and Education hosts also several PhD and postdoc researchers including researchers within his ERC Advanced project: Becoming a Minority (BAM). Saskia Keuzenkamp has the special Movisie-chair, Participation and Effectivity and supervises two external PhD researchers. Lorraine Nencel (specialized in gender and sexuality) supervises two PhD researchers. Peer Smets is specialized in urban sociology and supervises four PhD students. Marieke Slootman is specialized in cultural diversity from representative angle.  From 2013, dr. Kathy Davis has joined the group as a research fellow, she is specialized in biographical research.

Sawitri Saharso (, Coordinator
Halleh Ghorashi (, Program Leader

Group members

Crul, prof.dr. Maurice
Davis, prof.dr. Kathy    
Fiorito, Tara, Msc 
Ghorashi, prof.dr. Halleh, Program Leader 
Holle, Fabian 
Keuzenkamp, prof.dr. Saskia  bijzonder hoogleraar  
Keskiner, dr. Elif
Nencel, dr. Lorraine
Ponzoni, dr. Elena
Saharso, prof.dr. Sawitri   Coordinator IDI 
Shojaee, dr. Mansoureh 
Slootman, Marieke
Smets, dr. Peer
Waldring, drs. Ismintha 

PhD Students
Abdulazeez, Nazar
Alphen, Carlijn van
Greene, Alexandra
Knipprath, Kim
Korstenbroek, Timo
Kovács, Zsuzsa
Kraus, Lisa-Marie
Lazäri, Marina
Louw, Helenard
Ocadiz Arriaga, Miriam 
Pozzo, Moos
Rast, Maria 
Shan, Fiona
Woensdregt, Lise