(January 2010) Immigration and territories. Going beyond social exclusion rhetoric

Immigration and territories. Going beyond social exclusion rhetoric image
The aim of this research is to adopt an urban perspective on the immigration issue, in the belief that the city and its territories can be lens through which exploring the relation existent between immigration and processes of social exclusion and inclusion.

In particular the starting assumption is that the European rhetoric on ethnic exclusion/inclusion in the city uses mainly a spatial focus - that of housing, and residential neighbourhoods - that is not suitable for Southern European countries, in particular Italy. Structural conditions, such as welfare, housing systems, urban regimes, immigrants characteristics contributed to the fact that immigrants housing insertion in Mediterranean cities is not following concentrative patterns. Consequently, if ethnic segregation and marginalization exist and are particularly harsh, at the same time they are less evident, difficult to be caught on. The Southern European perspective challenges the rhetoric of exclusion in its premises and also in its outcomes: the myth of mixed neighbourhood that allow integration and foster social cohesion is call into question. What kind of spaces, hence, can trigger integration in the sense of the "daily negotiation of difference" (Amin, 2002)?

This work is an attempt to understand which urban spaces can be more suitable to read exclusion and inclusion processes in the Italian context. Considering that in Italy integration does not comes through the welfare (in particular, differently from other European countries does not comes through housing) but instead through work, it is possible to hypothesize that, "work spaces" are privileged spaces in order to interpret inclusion/exclusion mechanisms. Starting from these reflections could lead to an enrichment of the European debate on urban policies facing this problem and also to shed light on a particular aspect of the controversial relationship between rhetoric thought centrally and interpreted locally.

The first part of the research is based on a literature review that focuses on the following issues: the European debate on social exclusion and inclusion (Musterd and Ostendorf, 1998; Murie and Musterd, 2004; Murie, 2005; Bolt et al. 2010); the positioning within it of Southern European countries (Fonseca et. al., 2002; Malheiros, 2002; Maloutas, 2007; Arbaci, 2008); urban space as a device for inclusion (Tosi, 1998; Forrest and Kearns, 1999; Amin, 2002); local policies for immigrants (Solé, 2004; Caponio, 2006). The second part is a field work analysis aimed at investigating possible spaces of exclusion and inclusion of immigrants in an Italian city.

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Immigration and Territories. Going beyond social exclusion rhetoric by Carlotta Fioretti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.