Leaving or staying - an analysis of Italian graduates' migratory patterns

Conti, Francesca (2012) Leaving or staying - an analysis of Italian graduates' migratory patterns. Doctoral thesis (DPhil), University of Sussex.

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The migration of graduates is one of the main characteristics of the current phase of Italian emigration. This thesis investigates why Italian graduates are migrating both within and outside Italy. The main research questions this thesis gravitates around are: why do Italian graduates migrate? What is the difference, if any, in terms of motivations, between graduates who decide to migrate internally within Italy as compared to the ones who decide to migrate to the UK? Why do some graduates stay in their home town despite regional and national differentials in terms of employment and lifestyle opportunities?

Namely, this thesis examines and compares the motivations that drove three samples of Italian graduates to migrate. Firstly, those who migrated to the UK; secondly, those who from the southern Italy moved internally to the Italian cities of Rome (centre) and Milan (north); and thirdly, those who decided to stay in the Italian cities of Palermo (south), Rome (centre), and Milan (north). The analysis proposed is qualitative and exploratory in nature and is based on 87 in-depth interviews conducted with Italian graduates in 2008-2009.

The study provides an integrated view of different migratory patterns. In particular, the comparison between internal and international flows indicates that Italian graduates are generally oriented towards the UK and particularly towards London because of the many professional, educational and cultural opportunities that London as a global city has to offer. Meanwhile, internal migration within Italy (south to north) is generally experienced as constrained by deep regional differences in terms of employment opportunities between southern and northern Italy. Finally, staying in one’s home town emerged as a decision based, among other factors, on the lack of interest in experiencing mobility vs. the importance a person attributes to social, emotional and cultural ties to his or her own family, friends, partners and the local area.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher education > LB2371 Graduate education
L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe) > LF3248 Italy
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2012 15:06
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2015 14:38
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/39453

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