Migration represents one of the epoch-making themes in recent European and Italian policy and political discourses, particularly during the recent soi-disant “refugee crisis”, with many countries coming out with a remarkable range of internal and external restrictive measures to contain and deter further migratory inflows. These have created many livelihood challenges for the migrants’ inclusion and integration into the host society, including reception, housing, legal, employment, education and healthcare. While many scholars have problematised the migration question in several ways recently, there is a comparative lack of in-depth empirical and theoretical research on the reception, settlement and housing dimension of migrants in European cities, particularly in mid-sized cities. This thesis thus aims to contribute to the migration scholarship, exploring how (public) institutions — specific policies, laws and practices — shape different migrant groupings’ daily-lived experiences. In particular, I investigate the institutional production of migrants’ housing precarity, temporal aspects of “assistance” embedded in reception policies and their effects on refugees’ housing outcomes, and local reception policy for asylum-seekers and integration outcome dynamics. Much of the study and conceptual framework is rooted within the qualitative research tradition, drawing on literature from sociology, geography, urban studies and migration and refugee studies. A qualitative approach is used to analyse the empirical data gathered through conversation, observation, documentary analysis and 92 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders (from public and private institutions) and sub-Saharan African (SSA) migrants —‘economic’ migrants, refugees, (refused) asylum-seekers and irregular migrants — in the mid-sized city of Bergamo, Italy. The thesis comprises a collection of three scholarly articles, investigating separate but interrelated issues using three concepts discretely in each paper: precarity, temporality and integration. Article 1 investigates the migrant housing question in Italy, focusing on the causal factors internal to the housing regime and how their interplay with public institutions shapes precarious housing outcomes. I extend the precarity concept’s usage beyond the labour market to the field of housing, mobilising two main epistemological dimensions of the concept: its identification of different, concurrent causes of such conditions and its political and institutional production. To give “life” to our arguments herein, quotations from the SSA migrants (‘economic’migrants, refugees, (refused) asylum-seekers and irregular migrants) in Bergamo are used. The findings show that all migrant groups face precarious housing situations during their migration process, albeit to varying degrees. Article 2 explores the longitudinal housing experiences of refugees (people with political asylum, subsidiary and humanitarian protection status) within the city of Bergamo. It looks at how temporalities and temporariness embedded in reception programmes shape refugees’ housing outcomes. The findings suggest that state limitations on the length of housing and economic support, lack of post-reception policy, and legal and bureaucratic barriers negatively affect housing quality and stability post-exit reception. The study contributes to our understanding of the effects of temporariness and temporalities in deterring settlement and integration. Article 3 explores integration outcomes of a “unique” and novel local asylum-seekers’ integration model, “l’Accademia per l’Integrazione”, in Bergamo. Employing a “scout/militaristic” approach, the model seeks to integrate asylum-seekers starting from their arrival through obligatory Italian language classes and civics, “socially useful” work, acquisition of skills and access to the labour market. The findings show mixed and multifaceted results, including a questionable approach and below-par integration outcomes. Notwithstanding these upshots, the model’s conceptualisation of integration of asylum-seekers as a “twoway” process that starts upon arrival in the host society is worth implementing in other local settings in Italy and beyond.

Migrants' reception and settlements in Italian cities: exploring migrants' precarity, temporalities and integration during the "refugee crisis" / Dotsey, Senyo. - (2020 Jul 24).

Migrants' reception and settlements in Italian cities: exploring migrants' precarity, temporalities and integration during the "refugee crisis"

DOTSEY, SENYO
2020

Abstract

Migration represents one of the epoch-making themes in recent European and Italian policy and political discourses, particularly during the recent soi-disant “refugee crisis”, with many countries coming out with a remarkable range of internal and external restrictive measures to contain and deter further migratory inflows. These have created many livelihood challenges for the migrants’ inclusion and integration into the host society, including reception, housing, legal, employment, education and healthcare. While many scholars have problematised the migration question in several ways recently, there is a comparative lack of in-depth empirical and theoretical research on the reception, settlement and housing dimension of migrants in European cities, particularly in mid-sized cities. This thesis thus aims to contribute to the migration scholarship, exploring how (public) institutions — specific policies, laws and practices — shape different migrant groupings’ daily-lived experiences. In particular, I investigate the institutional production of migrants’ housing precarity, temporal aspects of “assistance” embedded in reception policies and their effects on refugees’ housing outcomes, and local reception policy for asylum-seekers and integration outcome dynamics. Much of the study and conceptual framework is rooted within the qualitative research tradition, drawing on literature from sociology, geography, urban studies and migration and refugee studies. A qualitative approach is used to analyse the empirical data gathered through conversation, observation, documentary analysis and 92 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders (from public and private institutions) and sub-Saharan African (SSA) migrants —‘economic’ migrants, refugees, (refused) asylum-seekers and irregular migrants — in the mid-sized city of Bergamo, Italy. The thesis comprises a collection of three scholarly articles, investigating separate but interrelated issues using three concepts discretely in each paper: precarity, temporality and integration. Article 1 investigates the migrant housing question in Italy, focusing on the causal factors internal to the housing regime and how their interplay with public institutions shapes precarious housing outcomes. I extend the precarity concept’s usage beyond the labour market to the field of housing, mobilising two main epistemological dimensions of the concept: its identification of different, concurrent causes of such conditions and its political and institutional production. To give “life” to our arguments herein, quotations from the SSA migrants (‘economic’migrants, refugees, (refused) asylum-seekers and irregular migrants) in Bergamo are used. The findings show that all migrant groups face precarious housing situations during their migration process, albeit to varying degrees. Article 2 explores the longitudinal housing experiences of refugees (people with political asylum, subsidiary and humanitarian protection status) within the city of Bergamo. It looks at how temporalities and temporariness embedded in reception programmes shape refugees’ housing outcomes. The findings suggest that state limitations on the length of housing and economic support, lack of post-reception policy, and legal and bureaucratic barriers negatively affect housing quality and stability post-exit reception. The study contributes to our understanding of the effects of temporariness and temporalities in deterring settlement and integration. Article 3 explores integration outcomes of a “unique” and novel local asylum-seekers’ integration model, “l’Accademia per l’Integrazione”, in Bergamo. Employing a “scout/militaristic” approach, the model seeks to integrate asylum-seekers starting from their arrival through obligatory Italian language classes and civics, “socially useful” work, acquisition of skills and access to the labour market. The findings show mixed and multifaceted results, including a questionable approach and below-par integration outcomes. Notwithstanding these upshots, the model’s conceptualisation of integration of asylum-seekers as a “twoway” process that starts upon arrival in the host society is worth implementing in other local settings in Italy and beyond.
Migrants' reception and settlements in Italian cities: exploring migrants' precarity, temporalities and integration during the "refugee crisis" / Dotsey, Senyo. - (2020 Jul 24).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/21547
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