Boundary-making in an immigrant social space: Albanian-Italian and Albanian-Romanian couples in Italy

Bezzini, Rachele (2018) Boundary-making in an immigrant social space: Albanian-Italian and Albanian-Romanian couples in Italy. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on Albanian-Italian and Albanian-Romanian couples in Italy. Through application of the boundary-making framework to integration and intermarriage, this study looks at the processes by which partners in mixed unions deal with socially constructed boundaries inside and outside the couple and family sphere. The thesis is based on multiple qualitative methods, but primarily on in-depth interviews with 61 Albanian-Italian/Romanian couples in Italy. These research-participant couples differ in terms of marital and family status, place of origin and settlement, education and occupation. The core sample is composed of an Albanian in-between generation, now in their 30s, who emigrated during adolescence for various reasons (asylum, family reunification, healthcare, study, work). Thence, I moved towards an Italian or a Romanian partner of these primary participants.

The original contribution of my study is both empirical and theoretical. From an empirical point of view, it explores the topic of intermarriage, which has not been previously examined in the existing literatures on the Albanian and Romanian migrations and is still understudied in Italy. In addition to this, the study specifically takes into account the combination of minority-majority (Albanian-Italian) and minority-minority (Albanian-Romanian) partnerships and marriages, whose conjoint analysis has been largely absent in intermarriage research. From a theoretical point of view, my research shows instead the importance of adopting a relational approach in migration studies through the inclusion of a plurality of social actors within the research design. In fact, while intermarriage in immigrant societies is usually interpreted as an indicator/agent of integration and through the essentialisation of the category of culture, my thesis proposes a novel understanding of intermarriage. I view intermarriage as a site of integration, and I see integration as a multi-way process of boundary change, which involves the national majority as well as multiple immigrant minorities interacting with and identifying each other in the construction of a common social space.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ0503 The Family. Marriage. Home > HQ0531-0727 By region or country > HQ0611 Europe > HQ0630 Italy
H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ0503 The Family. Marriage. Home > HQ1031 Mixed marriages. Intermarriage. Interfaith marriage
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonisation. Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV6001 Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV7590 Europe > JV8130-8139 Italy > JV8132 Immigration
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2018 11:32
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2018 11:32
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/74878

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