Symbolic boundaries; identity and super-diversity; belonging

Bloody diversity. The transformative capacity of blood donation among ethnic minorities in redefining citizenship and solidarity in ethnically diverse societies

Description: In Europe, blood for transfusion is collected from voluntary, non-remunerated donors. In public discourse, blood donation is framed as an exemplary act of citizenship and solidarity. Despite sufficient blood supply, however, only a small percentage of the population donates, and in particular, ethnic minorities are underrepresented. Existing research has mainly focused on identifying cultural and structural barriers experienced by minorities. This project argues that such a donor-centered approach prevents us from questioning in a more fundamental way how the non-participation of ethnic minorities challenges the basic architecture of the blood procurement system as a Western beacon of citizenship and solidarity. We therefore conduct a country-comparison between Belgium and the UK, representing two different blood collection systems, to explore how ethnic minorities challenge the organization of blood collection.
Promoter(s): Lesley Hustinx , Pierre Monforte
Researcher(s): Toyah Van der Poten
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Political and Social Sciences
Period of time: 2022 - 2026

Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education

Description: The main aim of this research project is an intersectional analysis of in- and excluding mechanisms in higher education for ethnic minority students and those from socio-economically vulnerable groups. During this project, the researcher(s) will investigate barriers & support-systems within higher education in a comprehensive way. To do so, two perspectives are employed: the agency perspective (i.e., the perspective of the student) and the system perspective (i.e., the perspective of the lecturer and system of higher education).
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Promoter(s): Wendelien Vantieghem
Researcher(s): Jente De Coninck
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2022 - 2026

Diversity in Education

Description: The Diversity in Education project considers the social inequalities in the Belgian educational system based on ethnicity, socio-economic background, disability and gender. In collaboration with KULeuven and ULB, the project has three research objectives. 1) An analytic overview of the current knowledge concerning social inequalities in the Belgian educational system 2) An analysis of the ways in which schools and teachers deal with diversity at school 3) An innovative analysis of the orientation process in schools
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Promoter(s): Reinhilde Pulinx , Piet Van Avermaet
Researcher(s): Wendelien Vantieghem , Iris Roose
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2015 - 2016

Hub Developing in Diversity

Description: The Hub Developing in Diversity wants to apply social innovation to increase opportunities for all children, youth and adults in Ghent. We mainly address social inequality in a learning context, by fully utilizing diversity. The Hub designs solutions which support them in their development and help them to build a future. The Hub is a space where innovative ideas are tested in short-term experiments, which can influence opinion, vision and policy regarding diversity. The experiments build on cocreation and exchange of knowledge and expertise, between Higher Education institutes of Ghent, the City of Ghent, citizens, institutions and organisations. The Hub will be fully operating by the end of 2021. In the meantime we set up a couple of pilots and prepare the working of the hub.
Website research project:
Promoter(s): Wendelien Vantieghem , Piet Van Avermaet
Researcher(s): Iris Vandevelde , Sofie Beunen , Eva Dierickx
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2019 - 2035

POTENTIAL. Power to teach all. Competence development to create inclusive learning environments

Description: Schools and teachers around the world are facing a growing diversity and increasing complexity (social inequality, labeling, …). In the past, pupils’ assignments to classrooms and schools have rather fostered segregation than encouraged inclusion. Today, we see a tendency towards more inclusive learning environments (cf. amongst others, the UN Convention of 2007, ratified by Belgium in 2009). However, this poses enormous challenges to the professional development of (pre-service) teachers and teams. The main objective of the project ‘POTENTIAL’, Power to Teach All, is to develop the competences of (pre-service) teachers and school teams to create inclusive learning environments. 
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Promoter(s): Piet Van Avermaet
Researcher(s): Wendelien Vantieghem , Iris Roose
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2016 - 2019

Space, Place, Identity, Mobilities, Minoritiy Politics, History of Geographic Thought

Description: My research centers around space, identity, minorities, and mobilities in general. I have specifically written on Muslim minorities in the United States and Europe, minorities in Turkey, and history of geographic thought. I am particularly interested in the role of place in constructing identities, drawing boundaries and maintaining differences. Uneven power relations are at the center of my analysis. I believe that without understanding power relations and the role of place in power struggles, one cannot fully understand the contextuality, contingency and complexity of mobility, space and identity. Discourses produced, policies formed, narratives and memories created reflect complex power relations. The power to define, to draw boundaries, to dominate, to resist, to create and maintain differences is a central issue in mobilities and identities, whether it is immigration or emigration, integration or assimilation, reconciliation or alienation.
Promoter(s): Ilse Derluyn
Researcher(s): Ilhan Kaya
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Period of time: 2021 - 2022

Violence and the impact on well-being, health and identity in male migrants in transit zones in Belgium and France, on their way to the United Kingdom

Description: After entering the European mainland, an increasing amount of refugees continues their journey to the United Kingdom by crossing the English Channel. In the media, these men and boys are often displayed as being dangerous, undesirable and a threat to society. As a result of such gender stereotypes, they are perceived as less vulnerable when compared to women and children. Yet, each individual affected by forced displacement is inevitably exposed to adversities at different levels. Therefore, our research project (2021-2025) aims to gain deeper understanding about the impact of adversities, including violence, during transit on the health, wellbeing and gender identity of this mobile population in Belgium and France. Ultimately, the findings of the study will generate policy recommendations and response strategies for practice.
Promoter(s): Ines Keygnaert , Ilse Derluyn , Massil Benbouriche , Caroline Desombre
Researcher(s): Leni Linthout
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences , Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Period of time: 2021 - 2025