Intergenerational transmission of culture among the Albanian first and the second generation in Florence

Vathi, Zana (2009) Intergenerational transmission of culture among the Albanian first and the second generation in Florence. In: The Sons and Daughters of Immigrants in Italy, American University of Rome.

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Although there is a growing interest in the children of migrants or the so-called second generation, research on intergenerational transmission and its dynamics and mechanisms is lacking. This paper will investigate this process, taking the case of Albanian first- and second-generation migrants in Florence. Some research on the second generation in Italy has included Albanian-origin teenagers, but these studies have been mainly quantitative and little or no research is conducted with this group in Florence. This paper draws from qualitative material collected during fieldwork conducted in Tuscany in October-December 2008. Fifty-five interviews were conducted: 23 teenagers, 20 parents, 8 teachers and 2 key informants. In addition, a focus group with 5 teenagers 3 girls and 2 boys was organised in a secondary school in Florence. Findings show that the intergenerational transmission is significantly affected by the particular patterns of integration of the first generation and the legal framework in place. Due to the familiarity and affinity of the first generation with Italian culture in general, and language in particular, the intergenerational transmission is less conflictual and fragmented than reported in other settings and groups. The process of intergenerational transmission is characterised by negotiations and strategies that counteract the disadvantageous status as migrants and as a stigmatised group. The process is far more complex than a two-way transmission; the dynamics and content appear to change along the process of integration of the first generation and is positively impacted by the empowerment and accumulation of capital of the parents. In general, the emphasis is put on the transmission of values and resources that would empower the second generation and would equip them with life-long lessons. Therefore, far from a quantifiable process, intergenerational transmission appears as complex, fragmented and changing over time by involving redefinitions of concepts, values, practices and their importance by both parents and children. The process is significantly affected by parents capital and discrimination while the means and strategies of transmission are focused on counteracting stigmatisation and lack of focus on ethnic identity and culture of origin, in favour of equipping the second generation with universal values and life-long lessons.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Depositing User: Zana Vathi
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2012 10:04
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2012 09:54
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