Not only transnational: Family patterns of immigrants in Italy
Colombo, Asher D.
Education University of Bologna Bologna, Italy
Family reunions continue to be the main port of entry for foreigners, both in the old immigration countries - although in recent years they have adopted progressively more stringent standards - and in recent immigration countries, that could quickly adapt to the firsts. Yet the systematic study of family patterns of migrants in countries of arrival is an understudied topic. Based on three major databases - the first consisting of 650 extensive life stories of care and domestic workers of both sexes and of many emigration countries, the second consisting in some surveys on the immigrant population of a region with high presence of foreigners (N=7.000), the third from administrative microdata - the paper strives to reconstruct a part of the picture. Among the peculiarities of the sources used should be noted that the first two databases include information both on legal and illegal foreign residents.
The analysis shows (1) that in Italy there is a wide variety of patterns of families of immigrants, (2) that the so-called transnational families, formed by members located in different countries and related, are only one of these patterns, and (3) that part of transnational households can be considered as one stage of the cycle of family life.