At the beginning of the 1990s, urban safety entered political and media debates in Italy. Since then, an anti-social behaviour discourse has diverted attention towards newcomers who have repeatedly appeared as the main cause of urban safety conflicts. Italian scholars have often described these actors as the passive target of safety policies. The main aim of this paper is to demonstrate that in fact some residents of immigrant origins have engaged in the game of urban conflicts. A comparative analysis will be carried out to discuss contentious dynamics in two Italian cities, by building on ethnographical data collected between 2009 and 2010. The two cities which are the object of the analysis are Verona and Modena. They are situated in the so-called Third Italy, in the north of the country, and are characterised by diverging political subcultures. A consistent part of studies on immigrants’ collective action has drawn from the structural perspective and has insisted on political opportunities as a crucial explanatory variable. This contribution will show the added value of complementing this interpretation with a pragmatic sensitive one. Residents of immigrant origins will be observed while undertaking their thorny path of engagement characterised by the capacity to adapt, construct more or less lasting agreements with institutional and non-institutional actors and propose alternative solutions to influence a given context. Ultimately, this will also provide an example of how a pragmatic sensitive stance can help study politics in a continuum with policies, a preoccupation which lies at the core of urban theory.

Urban conflicts and immigrants’ engagement. A comparative analysis of two northern Italian cities / Semprebon, Michela. - In: JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION AND INTEGRATION. - ISSN 1488-3473. - 14:3(2012), pp. 577-595. [10.1007/s12134-012-0254-4]

Urban conflicts and immigrants’ engagement. A comparative analysis of two northern Italian cities

SEMPREBON, MICHELA
2012

Abstract

At the beginning of the 1990s, urban safety entered political and media debates in Italy. Since then, an anti-social behaviour discourse has diverted attention towards newcomers who have repeatedly appeared as the main cause of urban safety conflicts. Italian scholars have often described these actors as the passive target of safety policies. The main aim of this paper is to demonstrate that in fact some residents of immigrant origins have engaged in the game of urban conflicts. A comparative analysis will be carried out to discuss contentious dynamics in two Italian cities, by building on ethnographical data collected between 2009 and 2010. The two cities which are the object of the analysis are Verona and Modena. They are situated in the so-called Third Italy, in the north of the country, and are characterised by diverging political subcultures. A consistent part of studies on immigrants’ collective action has drawn from the structural perspective and has insisted on political opportunities as a crucial explanatory variable. This contribution will show the added value of complementing this interpretation with a pragmatic sensitive one. Residents of immigrant origins will be observed while undertaking their thorny path of engagement characterised by the capacity to adapt, construct more or less lasting agreements with institutional and non-institutional actors and propose alternative solutions to influence a given context. Ultimately, this will also provide an example of how a pragmatic sensitive stance can help study politics in a continuum with policies, a preoccupation which lies at the core of urban theory.
Urban conflicts and immigrants’ engagement. A comparative analysis of two northern Italian cities / Semprebon, Michela. - In: JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION AND INTEGRATION. - ISSN 1488-3473. - 14:3(2012), pp. 577-595. [10.1007/s12134-012-0254-4]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11381/2902703
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