Moroccan and Albanian second generation migrants in Italy: integration and identity formation
Alice Elliot, University College London
This paper argues how the linear conceptualisation of integration of second generation migrants, intermediate between the demographic behaviour of their parents and that of the host country, is overly simplistic. Anthropological fieldwork amongst second generation migrants of Moroccan and Albanian origin living in Northern Italy is used to demonstrate how the uncertain legal status of the second generation in Italy, the pressures of parents and peers and personal desires are interlocked in the demographic behaviours and attitudes of young sons and daughters of immigrants. The paper shows how attitudes towards sexuality, marriage and reproduction, often used as demographic indicators of integration of the second generation, cannot be read in any simple way as signs of ‘integration’. An analysis is made of the role demographic behaviours play in the processes of identity formation of second generation young adults and how these processes are rooted in daily negotiations, conflicts and aspirations.