Migrant and "second generations" associations in Italy
(University of Bologna)
Paper short abstract:
I will compare different strategies of entry within Italian public space. Beside ethnic and hometown associations, one counts “second generations” associations. These show to be rich of initiatives, which carry political weight. If the former tended to struggle for recognition within Italian associational structures, the latter address the issue of citizenship.
Paper long abstract:
The purpose of this paper is to compare different strategies of entry within Italian public space. One witnesses to a tremendous diversification of migrant associations in Italy during the last 15 years. Beside religious, national, ethnic and hometown associations, thanks to settlement and family reunification other kinds of associations are emerging from both the interplay with the receiving contexts' institutions and the transnational stretching of connections and projects. We count foreign families' and mixed associations together with what is normally called "second generations" ' associations. These show to be very dynamic and rich of initiatives, which carry important political weight. If the former slot tended to struggle for recognition through the engagement in social activities based on Italian associational structures and networking with the social actors of the economic and institutional system within specific localities, the latter tend to fully address the issue of citizenship and tend to cross local and national boundaries. This kind of strategy proves to be crucial for youth that was schooled and socialized in Italian society, but encounter difficult prospects of social mobility and of seeing citizenship rights been granted. These new Italians, as often they define themselves, try to seek to empower their social position. In their struggle for recognition, often they focus on the double meaning of representation. They contest and critique the common sense representation, which targets them as forever migrants to enhance their access to social resources and political representation. The paper will discuss what this path is telling us about the Italian experience of immigration.
Migrant associations in Europe: simultaneous incorporation, everyday cosmopolitanisms and actually existing citizenship