The culture of migrant reception services in Italy: An exploratory research

Rosa Maria Paniccia, Francesca Dolcetti, Tamara Cappelli, Giuseppe Donatiello, Graziana Di Noja

Abstract


Italy has a long history of immigration, which has become part of the country’s landscape in a complex and varied way, and has led to significant changes in important contexts such as in the school, the workplace, and in the provision of welfare services. And yet, immigration policies still consist in emergency measures that do not recognize the phenomenon in its long-standing and structural dimension. In addition, public opinion is concerned as a result of the alarmist distortion of this issue, as shown by the gap between data on immigration and perceived immigration. Since in this research we take into consideration collusively shared experiences, these misunderstandings cannot be corrected by providing more information on the real data; we posit that the emotional scope must be recognized in order to address this issue. In particular, we asked ourselves how this context - changes brought by immigration, public opinion, and government policies - is represented within the migrant reception services. Accordingly, we interviewed a group of reception staff from the Roman area on the type of service that they think they are offering. The results show how, in their experience, this complex reality of immigration is not evoked: the experience within the services is isolated from the Italian narrative and context. However, the voice of migrants and their point of view, emerge as a resource within these services, as openness rather than isolation.

Keywords


perception of immigration; Emotional Text Analysis (ETA); inclusion; integration

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