9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN33 Women's and Gender Studies

2009-09-03 09:00:00 2009-09-03 10:30:00 Thursday, 3 September 09:00 - 10:30 Gendering Migrations Building II, C4.02

Integration strategies and policies in Italy: the case of intellectual migrant women

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. Our paper will focus on an aspect which has been completed neglected until now, that is the study of the integration processes of migrants from another point of view, that of the migrant women. This paper will overcome all previous studies about immigration and integration in Italy through a more mature analysis of the migrants" integration process taking into consideration its highest manifestations, that is the study of the integration strategies enacted by intellectual migrant women in Italy.
Most scientific works focus on gender migration in Italy from a paternalistic point of view, taking into consideration only the most disadvantaged ones, that is those carrying out menial jobs. This approach is not enough in order to demolish the stereotypes and prejudices which are commonly associated to migrant women.
Our hypothesis is that intellectual migrant women do not follow "traditional" strategies to integrate into the Italian society, but they go beyond the learning of the hosting country language and of 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 higher level. Therefore, we will argue what strategies are enacted by intellectual migrant women to integrate into the Italian society through the analyses of a certain number of interviews and writings produced by migrant women residing in Italy.