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'New Italians': The Re-Making of the Nation in the Age of Migration


As a result of international migration, national societies in Europe are becoming increasingly diverse from an ethno-cultural, religious, and racial perspective. Demographic projections show that this transformation is expected to increase in the future. The socio-economic and cultural impact of this demographic change has been extensively investigated especially in relation to migrants and their children. There is indeed a rich scholarship analyzing forms of adaptation, acculturation, and assimilation to the majority society. Similarly, scholars have investigated at length the negotiation of migrants’ every day lives in local places, as well as their transnational connections. Forms of multiple, hybrid, ‘creole’ identities have also been theorized, in association with calls for a post-colonial cosmopolitanism. Yet, within this scholarship, the nation as the discursive expression of a collective ‘we’ has been largely ignored. When the nation remains in place, it is often treated as a given and unproblematic ensemble of features, values, and principles against which migrants must show their degree of ‘integration’. No investigation is usually made into how this collective referent might change due to the demographic change of its populace. The proposed research aims to bring the nation back into migration studies, not as a substitute, but as a dimension complementing ‘local’, transnational, and cosmopolitan registers. By focusing on the case of Italy, the research will analyze the ‘re-making’ of the nation from three perspectives: political institutions and parties; migrants and children of migrants who claim their national belonging (‘New Italians’); the receiving society, as expressed through the voices of school teachers and their students. As the nation continues to inform social discourses and practices, to explore how it is re-signified in contexts of ethno-cultural pluralism remains essential to understand current processes of social inclusion/exclusion.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/sociology/demography/human migration

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-CIG - Support for training and career development of researcher (CIG)


Ashby Road
LE11 3TU Loughborough
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 50 000
Administrative Contact
Christopher Malins (Dr.)