Panel 08

Children of migrants and Italianness: An anthropological look at a densely “social” relationship

Panel 08 / Quarto Convegno Nazionale SIAC “Il ritorno del sociale”, Sapienza Università di Roma, 21-22-23 settembre 2023

Proponenti: Giuseppe Grimaldi (Università di Trieste), Fabio Vicini (Università di Verona)

Discussant: Isabella Clough Marinaro (John Cabot University, Rome)


The present and future place of children of migrants in Italian society is of great importance in current public discourse. Representations and stereotypes designed to question the belonging of these people to the national community abound, with particular emphasis on their alleged incompatibility with widespread ideas of Italianness. The concept of “second generation” has played a key role in Italy within both public and academic debates. Far from being a mere sociological descriptor, it represented a sort of device through which a gap continues to be traced between children of migrants and Italianness. Although fragile on both descriptive and epistemological levels, the concept can be rethought critically to grasp the performative power it continues to exert on the lives of Italian children of migrants. In this panel, we welcome contributions based on ethnographic or auto-ethnographic approaches that reflect on the relationship between children of migrants and Italianness in light of issues such as, for example, colonial and postcolonial legacies, new (and old) forms of transnational mobility or connectivity, how children of migrants experience the “context of origin” as well as engage in the Italian public space. The panel is conceived as a moment of reflection on these themes in view of the publication of a Special Issue of the journal Antropologia Pubblica (AP) tentatively titled “Children of Migrants and Italianness: Anthropology of the New Generations of Italy”.

Keywords: children of immigrants, Second generation, italianness, mobility, identity

Lingue accettate: Italiano / English

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