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C.I.R.S.D.I.G Centro Interuniversitario per le ricerche sulla Sociologia del Diritto, dell informazione e delle Istituzioni Giuridiche Quaderni della Sezione : Società e Mutamento UNIVERSITÀ

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C.I.R.S.D.I.G Centro Interuniversitario per le ricerche sulla Sociologia del Diritto, dell informazione e delle Istituzioni Giuridiche Quaderni della Sezione : Società e Mutamento UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI DI MESSINA Facoltà di Scienze Politiche Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica, Matematica e Sociologia Pareto Second-Generation Immigrants in Catania (Sicily): Prejudice and Relationships with Institutions Liana Daher Working Paper n.46 CIRSDIG Working Paper n. 46 Il Centro interuniversitario per le Ricerche sulla sociologia del diritto, dell informazione e delle istituzioni giuridiche (C.I.R.S.D.I.G.) con questi working paper intende proporre i risultati dei lavori svolti nell ambito delle ricerche sia metodologiche che applicative nel campo della sociologia del diritto, dell informazione e delle istituzioni giuridiche. Tale centro è stato costituito dalle Università di Messina e di Macerata al fine di stimolare attività indirizzate alla formazione dei ricercatori ed anche per favorire lo scambio d informazioni e materiali nel quadro di collaborazioni con altri Istituti o Dipartimenti universitari, con Organismi di ricerca nazionali o internazionali. I paper pubblicati sono sottoposti ad un processo di peer-reviewing ad opera di esperti internazionali. Direzione scientifica: proff. D. Carzo e A. Febbrajo. Comitato scientifico dei Quaderni del Cirsdig Prof. Larry Barnett, Widener University (USA) Prof. Roque Carriòn-Wam, Università di Carabobo (Venezuela) Prof. Domenico Carzo (Università di Messina) Prof. Alberto Febbrajo (Università di Macerata) Prof. Mauricio Garcia-Villegas, Università Nazionale di Bogotà (Colombia) Prof. Mario Morcellini (Università di Roma La Sapienza ) Prof. Edgar Morin, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (France) Prof. Valerio Pocar (Università di Milano Bicocca ) Prof. Marcello Strazzeri (Università di Lecce) Comitato redazionale: Maria Rita Bartolomei (Università di Macerata) Marco Centorrino (Università di Messina) Roberta Dameno (Università di Milano Bicocca) Pietro Saitta (Università di Messina) Angelo Salento (Università di Lecce) Elena Valentini (Università di Roma La Sapienza ) Massimiliano Verga (Università di Milano Bicocca) Segreteria di redazione: Antonia Cava (Università di Messina) Mariagrazia Salvo (Università di Messina) 2 Abstract The presence of second-generation immigrants in a country is an indication of lasting immigration and of an irreversible process of cultural change. Immigration is often perceived as a resource, and the fact that whole families remain in our country is seen by the local community as a possibility for growth and cultural exchange. However, immigration is sometimes seen as a threat, a condition that causes unrest and dissatisfaction for which local people and immigrants are both responsible. In fact, it is possible to note a strain of prejudice that persists in native-immigrant relationships. This feeling precludes neither the way for a multicultural society nor the possibility to build an intercultural social model based on exchange and reciprocal acquaintance. Second-Generation immigrants form an unintentional generation, suspended between a sense of belonging and extraneousness. Unlike adults, their first request is not a house or a job but to be accepted by society. In particular, one notices a clash between the intercultural rhetoric of schools and institutions, and the perceptions of the youngsters. In order to explore these dimensions, 30 biographical interviews conducted in the city of Catania (Sicily) with second generation immigrants are discussed. La presenza di seconde generazioni su un determinato territorio è indicatore di immigrazione stabile e rappresenta, di conseguenza, un mutamento culturale irreversibile e duraturo. L immigrazione è spesso percepita come risorsa, ed il permanere di intere famiglie nel nostro Paese è visto dalla comunità locale come possibilità di confronto e crescita, altre volte si crea invece un intensa conflittualità di cui spesso ambedue le parti sono responsabili. Si osserva infatti il permanere di un atteggiamento di pregiudizio, da parte di autoctoni e di immigrati, che non consente la concretizzazione di un tale progetto, né tantomeno di un modello sociale interculturale basato sul dialogo e sulla conoscenza reciproca.le seconde generazioni di immigrati rappresentano in questo contesto una generazione involontaria; tali giovani sono infatti, ancor più degli adulti, sospesi tra due culture differenti, in bilico tra appartenenza ed estraneità. Inoltre, differentemente dai loro genitori, la loro richiesta primaria non è quella di una casa o di un lavoro, ma del riconoscimento da parte della società. La questione più rilevante, all interno della nostra analisi, è che questa categoria di giovani spesso soffre disagi dovuti ad atteggiamenti di pregiudizio o all esagerata indulgenza di cittadini ed operatori sociali. Il paradosso nasce dallo scontro tra l immagine di interculturalità fornita dalle istituzioni, in particolare la scuola, e quella che emerge invece dalle narrazioni dei testimoni privilegiati. Al fine di analizzare questo aspetto dell immigrazione produciamo infatti un analisi ermeneutica di 30 storie di vita di giovani di seconda generazione che vivono nella città di Catania. Le dimensioni esplorate saranno infatti quelle del pregiudizio e delle relazioni all interno delle istituzioni scolastiche e giuridiche. CIRSDIG working paper n. 46 Indice 1. Introduction, p Path of life and integration of young immigrants in the town of Catania, p School and impact with the new language, p Relationships with legal institutions, p Young immigrants, what kind of future? A preliminary conclusion, p. 19 APPENDIX Brief biographical profile of interviewees, p. 21 References, p. 27 Biographical notes on the author, p. 31 4 Liana Daher Second-Generation Immigrants in Catania (Sicily): Prejudice and Relationships with Institutions * Liana Daher 1. Introduction T he presence of second-generation immigrants in a country is an indication of lasting immigration and of an irreversible process of cultural change. Immigration is often perceived as a resource, and the fact that whole families remain in our country is seen by the local community as a possibility for growth and cultural exchange. However, immigration is sometimes seen as a threat, a condition that involves unrest and dissatisfaction for which local people and immigrants are both responsible. In fact, it is possible to note a strain of prejudice that persists in nativeimmigrant relationships. This feeling precludes the way for a multicultural society and could arise from cultural and linguistic misunderstandings 1, a stereotyped and negative representation of foreigners, on the part of the natives, and a strong sense of belonging to their own cultural identity. Needless to say, this is not conducive to intercultural dialogue. The permanent establishment of immigrants in the new country has led to a new description of the migratory process: First of all, the immigrant is no longer a temporary guest, with his roots elsewhere, where he plans to return at the end of his migratory path; secondly, the principal actors of this process are no longer mainly adult men, but also females and children. This new description of the migratory process and the new position of the immigrant in the Italian society have had some consequences on the interpretation of contexts and roles of the actors and should require a new kind of organization, management and categorization of the relationship between immigrants and natives (Ambrosini, 2007, ). Second generation immigrants, as we usually call them 2, are the social category that suffer the contradictions of such a situation more acutely. * A condensed version of this paper was discussed at the 9 th ESA Conference, Session 6: Ethnic youth, RN Youth & Generation, Lisbon, 2-5 September Communication problems are not only due to linguistic incomprehension: foreigners usually have, unintentionally or by choice (Bettedini, 2003, 32-33), different cultural needs, views of the world and traditions, which could generate serious cultural misunderstandings (Quassoli, 2003, ). 2 Regarding this expression we should point out at least two critical remarks: a) to speak of second generation immigrants is a contradiction because we cannot to ascribe to this category of subject the choice of migrant, that is instead implicit in the term: «they are immigrants who have not emigrated from anywhere» (Sayad 2004: 291); b) these individuals are classified according to their family belonging and not according to their subjectivity (Costa-Lascoux, 1989; Moulins, Lacombe, 1999). On the contrary, we have to observe that the children of immigrants themselves accept and subscribe to this epithet and they have recently started an association named Rete G2, where G2 just means second generations (www.secondegenerazioni.it). 5 CIRSDIG working paper n. 46 They feel they belong to two different cultures, since they were born in a place that they consider to be their own country and, at the same time, they are bound to a family with a different culture. Second-generation immigrants form an unintentional generation, suspended between a sense of belonging and extraneousness. Unlike adults, their first request is not a house or a job but to be accepted by society. They are immigrants who are not immigrants, i.e. they are not immigrants in the full sense of the word. In fact, they are not foreigners either in cultural terms, as they were socialized in the host society, or in national terms, as they usually have (or desire to have) the nationality of the country in which they are living. People do not know how to regard or treat this new-style of immigrant, but particularly they do not know what to expect from them. The presence of second generation children not only leads, to a collective anxiety coming from the fear of diversity, as in the case of adults, but above all from «the fact that they disrupt the diacritical function and meaning of the divorce that state thought established between nationals and non-nationals» (Sayad 2004: 291) 3 Moreover, they often find themselves, as Ambrosini (2009) point outs, relegated to the same deprived contexts as their parents, and their upward mobility difficulty starts in a sectorial work market biased from an ascribed social capital. Consequently, if on the one hand second-generation immigrants naturally live in a condition of double belonging and/or ethnicity, on the other hand, the majority of the members of the receiving society, especially in the most fundamental social institutions, continue to consider them as foreigners, and the social structure discourages their complete integration. It is extremely difficult for minors and teenagers to mediate between two different cultures. There is a very high risk that the convergence/collision between the two cultural models provided by the family and the local society may provoke an identity gap. In cases like these, young people formulate a series of strategies to deal with a complex situation that is unstable and totally lacking in reference points. These depend on the migratory experience and/or on the level of inclusion and integration in the reception country. There are four possible identity strategies (Braccini, 2000, 35-40): 1. cultural resistance, that is the general acceptance of the cultural model given by the family and the refusal of any of those offered by the new context; 2. assimilation, that is the total acceptance of the cultural models offered by the new society as well as a more or less total refusal of every model and behaviour belonging to the original culture, incompatible with the new one which, for these subjects, represents a better future; 3. marginality, which represents the refusal of both cultures. In this case, these young people feel that they don t belong to either civilization and consequently they put themselves passively in the middle, unable to choose between their origins, represented also by their family ties, and the new culture that may also represent a possibility for emancipation. This condition manifests itself in two ways: Through frustration marginality, that is a consequence of discrimination and hostility by the members of the host society that may be real or just perceived by the subject, or through transition marginality, which refers to that period of temporary discomfort experienced 3 Sayad describes the French situation that, in some aspects, is similar to the Italian one. 6 Liana Daher during the inclusion process in the new context and the elaboration of a new ethnic identity; 4. double ethnicity, which is the result of a slow, but profound work of analysis, through which the identity is elaborated through the continuous comparison between the two different worlds and never finds a definite or extreme solution. That strategy of identity gives the opportunity to young immigrants to grow in harmony with both cultures and supports the synthesis of both values. Only in this case can we speak of a real double cultural belonging; however, this contrasts with a double not-belonging, derived from the fear of no longer belonging to either of the two cultures. This feeling/reaction is produced by the strategy, that we defined marginality, which becomes particularly critical when it comes from a frustration, as it is likely to degenerate into an illness. This condition clearly derives from the experiences of the subject and may arise both from the effects of the hostile and racist atmosphere of the country of arrival and by an attitude of prejudice of the young person him/herself. Second-generation youths have been defined by scholars as a generation of sacrifice, i.e. a generation which pays the high cost of the family migration path, for the troubled process of socialization and the many hardships that they have to endure because of their native position of cultural border. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that the primary demand of the new generation is not a house or a job, but mainly recognition by society; young immigrants claim citizenship in the country where they have lived most of their lives, even if they have different origins and culture. Consequently, these young people don t deny their inherent cultural diversity, but claim the rights of their birth and/or their stay in a country that is the place of their everyday life. But the condition of foreignness sometimes tends to persist in the lives of the new generations, not just because of a lack of integration on the part of young immigrants, but due to the attitudes of prejudice and rejection that sometimes come even from some members of the fundamental social institutions (e.g. teachers, police staff, etc.). The persistence of such a situation frequently leads the young to perceive themselves as foreigners and to go through a serious identity crisis as well as leading them to urgently demand, sometimes aggressively, their rights as citizens of the country where they were born and have grown up. In fact, the most relevant problem, in our analysis, is that second-generation children and young people often suffer troubles due to attitudes of prejudice or the exaggerated indulgence of citizens and social workers. More specifically, the aspects here explored will be prejudice and relationships in educational and juridical institutions. 4 Even though schooling could be one of the instruments of communication between culture and of the construction of a new culture (Fisher and Fisher, 2002, 10), various problems could also arise from the relationships inside the school, especially between immigrant children and teachers. 4 In the present work we have produced only a part of the results of the information from the analysis of the life histories. The other aspects were: the peer group; the work placement; the family; the native culture; and the double belonging condition. 7 CIRSDIG working paper n. 46 The problem is that teaching staff are not adequately trained to provide qualified answers to the dynamics of integration inside the school. In fact, there are three possible forms of integration: Assimilation, segregation and inter-culturalism, but the latter is the only one that could be really satisfying for both cultures. Let us briefly analyze them. The goal of assimilation is that immigrant minorities are absorbed by the culture of the host society, therefore schooling is ethnocentric based. The assimilation strategy tends to interpret the cultural difference as a disadvantage and encourages children to abandon their original culture for the Italian one. The segregation model supports, instead, the idea of cultural plurality but sees cultures as being contradictory. Difference is perceived in a negative way, thus it is necessary to avoid contamination between cultures and keep them separate. This is a multicultural model that imposes the auto-segregation to preserve the original cultural identity. Naturally, the best form of integration is inter-culturalism. As Hannoun (1987) said, assimilation and segregation are the two faces of cultural incommunicability ; inter-culturalism is instead the way to accept diversity, actively and positively. The school model is based on the guarantee of plurality, through the reciprocal enrichment coming from the confluence of different cultures. Communication, cooperation, exchange and solidarity between students become fundamental in this case. Therefore, the intercultural school does not try to hide conflict but to assume it dialectically for a better understanding of social life. In our case, the question is whether this model is widespread in Italian schools, and specifically if it is common in Catania (Sicily). A large number of studies have specifically analyzed the transformation of educational practices in Italy derived from the large number of foreign students at school and have tried to evaluate the construction of prejudice and of cognitive categories of the perception of this phenomenon (Cicardi, 1994; Giovannini, 1996; Fravega, Queirolo Palmas 2003; Colombo 2004). From this works it has emerged that teachers have a strategic role in the process of school integration of immigrant students: They have an institutional task but they are also individuals and Italian citizens with a personal interpretation of immigration as a social phenomenon. In fact, as Besozzi said (1998, 49), teachers have an ambivalent feeling towards immigration and second generation children. On the one hand, they are inclined to use a universal model of reception and believe in the right of access to schooling regardless of cultural origins; on the other hand, they fear an increase of work, some changes in their teaching routine and lack of certainty if they have no previous professional experience with immigrants. Teachers are often left alone to face problems related to the integration of immigrant children with very little experience to help them find solutions. Consequently, even if the ministerial guidelines and programs indicate an intercultural way of living in the Italian school, the actual behavior of teachers (and head teachers) often clashes with the official purpose and public image of the school. 5 5 As we have deduced from the results of the other research program entitled Second generations in Catania schools. Construction of multiculturalism amid inclusion, tolerance and prejudice, coordinated by the writer. The first results of this research were presented to the Congress Giovani Come IV. Il sapere dei giovani, University of Salerno, January 2010 (proceedings being printed). 8 Liana Daher Moreover, teachers are only human and may have their personal feelings toward immigrants, that are sometimes conditioned by prejudices and stereotypes. Young people also sometimes come up against prejudi
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