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Title: Integration strategies and policies in Italy: the case of intellectual migrant women
Authors: Stratti, Ingrid
Supervisore/Tutore: Delli Zotti, Giovanni
Cosupervisore: Urpis, Ornella
Issue Date: 17-Apr-2009
Publisher: Università degli studi di Trieste
In the controversial debate in Italy regarding, on one hand, the possibility/impossibility of migrants’ integration and, on the other, the complexity of the integration process, most scientific works focus either on the legal aspects in a merely juridical or economic perspective or on the integration of the more “disadvantaged” migrants in a sheer perspective of human rights defence. This dissertation focuses on an aspect which has been completely neglected until now, that is the study of the integration process of migrants from a privileged point of view, that of the skilled migrant women in Italy.
The goal of the research consists in analysing the integration strategies and policies of the migrants in Italy with a special attention to the case of the intellectual or skilled migrant women in order to find out which are the immigration policies that facilitate migrant’s full integration in the Italian society and the strategies the skilled migrant women develop to reach a high level of integration.
The hypothesis is that intellectual or highly skilled migrant women do not follow “traditional” strategies to integrate into the Italian society, but they go beyond the learning of the hosting country’s language and the learning of cultural habits through the achievement of a deeper awareness which allows them to overcome the daily problems in order to participate in cultural and social activities at a high level. This dissertation argues “strong” and “weak” immigration policies and strategies developed by intellectual or skilled migrant women living in Italy in order to be integrated in the hosting society.
“Weak” or “traditional” strategies of integration of migrant women concern women’s access to the labour market in the domestic related services, caring for the elderly and the ill or as housewives who have followed their husbands in Italy through family reunifications. These “traditional” or “weak” strategies are on one hand an outcome of the image of migrant women widespread in the mass media and public opinion and on the other the result of restrictive immigration policies. The image of migrant women is the one which associates them to the fact of being vulnerable, victims of sexual exploitation, unqualified and submissive. Consequently, “weak” immigration policies mostly reveal the image of unskilled migrant women or women who are victims of exploitation strengthening only the points regarding the protection of migrant women who have been victims of smuggling and sexual exploitation and also aiming at the regularization of the domestic workers. Italian immigration policy system does not propose any “strong” integration policy regarding skilled migrant women who reside in Italy.
This research expects to find that there are immigrant women who do not correspond to the image of dependent women and develop their own strategies of integration within the Italian society. In fact, “strong” integration strategies developed by skilled or intellectual migrant women are able to overcome the “weak” strategies of integration which see migrant women as a mere labour force within the domestic service world. These “strong” strategies include not only the learning of the Italian language and cultural habits but also and above all the achievement of deep cultural, civic and political awareness which allows them to participate in the cultural and social activities at a high level in the Italian society.
Therefore, this dissertation is divided into three main parts concerning gender migration in an international context, immigration policies and gender strategies of integration in Italy and the involvement of skilled migrant women in the cultural, literary, business and scientific life in the Italian society.
The first chapter aims at the analysis of the main aspects concerning international migrations in general and gender migrations in particular. This chapter is divided into four main sections. The first two sections focus on migration as a global phenomenon and theories regarding this issue. The third section discusses the international legislation concerning migrants in order to highlight the complexity of the different types of migration and the defence of the rights of the weakest. The fourth section compares examples of existing immigration policies in different countries, stressing on the classical immigration countries like the United States of America, Canada and on some new immigration countries in Europe.
The aim of the second chapter is to analyse the main aspects concerning immigration and in particular gender immigration policies and strategies in Italy. This chapter is divided into three main sections. The first section focuses on the Italian migrations from a theoretical and historical point of view, taking into consideration both aspects of emigration and immigration. The second section highlights the different policies adopted by Italian governments in order to control and face immigration flows from the nineteenth century onwards with a particular attention to the policies which are gender related. The third section argues the different strategies of integration, the “traditional” or “weak” strategies, concerning migrant women who reach Italy in order to highlight the complexity of the different levels of integration and settlement.
The third chapter focuses on the integration strategies developed by skilled migrant women who live in Italy and is divided in three main sections. The first section argues that Italy is still in search of a model of possible integration for migrants because it has become a destination country for many migrants only in the last thirty years. The second section of the third chapter analyses the involvement level of the migrant women in the Italian society through the data available from secondary sources such as women’s participation and leadership in politics and civil society, in the intercultural mediation and in the literary and artistic domain. The third section of the chapter is dedicated to the presentation of the results of a survey carried out during the months of November 2007 until January 2008. The aim of this survey was the collection of first hand data about the strategies developed by intellectual migrant women to integrate into the Italian society. In conclusion, “strong” integration strategies concerning highly qualified migrant women include not only the very good command of the Italian language which is one of the first steps towards a full participation in the society, but also and above all their active involvement in the cultural, social and political life of the country. These “strong” strategies do not find a suitable place within the Italian immigration policies which deal in accordance with the international agreements with helping victims of smuggling, on one hand, and regulating immigrants’ entry into the Italian territory, on the other. In order to eradicate the image of the migrant woman as unskilled and submissive, the research outlines some proposals of policies in which immigration is not considered as an emergency problem to handle, but as an issue which needs a deep reflection on human, social and economic outcomes within an Italian, European and international context in the perspective of policy implementation and strategies empowerment towards the promotion of a wider gender equality for migrant women.
Ciclo di dottorato: XXI Ciclo
Keywords: donneimmigrazione
Type: Doctoral
Language: en
NBN: urn:nbn:it:units-7472
Appears in Collections:Scienze politiche e sociali

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