Understanding the practice and developing a theory of welfare bricolage (UPWEB)


Diversity in Europe has increased and become more complex posing challenges to both national and local welfare state regimes. Evidence indicates specific barriers for migrant, faith and minority ethnic groups when accessing healthcare. However, previous studies of health in diverse cities in European countries have mainly adopted an ethno-national focus. Taking into account the new complexity of diversity within cities, a deeper and multi-faceted understanding of everyday health practices in superdiverse contexts is needed to support an adequate provision of healthcare.

In this project a mixed method study is conducted investigating how residents in superdiverse neighbourhoods access healthcare. The study will include participant observation and qualitative interviewing as well as a standardised health survey and will be carried out in eight superdiverse neighbourhoods in four European countries (Germany, Portugal, Sweden and UK). In each neighbourhood, trained community researchers together with university researchers will map formal and informal provision and infrastructures supportive to health and healthcare. In-depth interviews with residents and healthcare providers in each country will investigate local health-supportive practices. Using categories identified from analyses of interview material, a health survey will be set up investigating determinants of access to healthcare.

In cooperation with the University Bremen and the Hochschule Bremen / City University of Applied Sciences, the BIPS carries out the survey in two city districts (Neustadt and Gröpelingen) in Bremen from Feburary to May 2017

Funding period

Begin:   January 2015
End:   December 2017


  • German Research Foundation


Dr. phil. Tilman Brand


UPWEB homepage

Selected project-related publications

    Articles with peer-review

  • Bradby H, Lindenmeyer A, Phillimore J, Padilla B, Brand T. 'If there were doctors who could understand our problems, I would already be better': Dissatisfactory health care and marginalisation in superdiverse neighbourhoods. Sociology of Health and Illness. 2020;42(4):739-757.
  • Samkange-Zeeb F, Borisova L, Padilla B, Bradby H, Phillimore J, Zeeb H, Brand T. Superdiversity, migration and use of internet-based health information - Results of a cross-sectional survey conducted in 4 European countries. BMC Public Health. 2020;20:1263.
  • Samkange-Zeeb F, Samerski S, Doos L, Humphris R, Padilla B, Bradby H. "It's the first barrier" - Lack of common language a major obstacle when accessing/providing healthcare services across Europe. Frontiers in Sociology. 2020;5:557563.
  • Bradby H, Phillimore J, Padilla B, Brand T. Making gendered healthcare work visible: Over-looked labour in four diverse European settings. Social Inclusion. 2019;7(2):33-43.
  • Phillimore J, Bradby H, Brand T. Superdiversity, population health and health care: Opportunities and challenges in a changing world. Public Health. 2019;172:93-98.
  • Phillimore J, Brand T, Bradby H, Padilla B. Healthcare bricolage in Europe's superdiverse neighbourhoods: A mixed methods study. BMC Public Health. 2019;19:1325.
  • Samkange-Zeeb F, Foraita R, Rach S, Brand T. Feasibility of using respondent-driven sampling to recruit participants in superdiverse neighbourhoods for a general health survey. International Journal of Public Health. 2019;64(3):451-459.
  • Wijekoon Mudiyanselage KW, Samkange-Zeeb F, Brand T, Zeeb H. Exploring ethnic differences in understanding of self-rated health among persons of Turkish, Bosnian and German origin. BMC Research Notes. 2018;11:903.
  • Phillimore J, Bradby H, Knecht M, Padilla B, Brand T, Cheung SY, Pemberton S, Zeeb H. Understanding healthcare practices in superdiverse neighbourhoods and developing the concept of welfare bricolage: Protocol of a cross-national mixed-methods study. BMC International Health and Human Rights. 2015;15:16.
  • Zeeb H, Makarova N, Brand T, Knecht M. Superdiversity - A new concept for migrant health? Public Health Forum. 2015;23(2):124-125.