345.8 “Carers' transnational links: The ambivalence of immigrant remittances”

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 12:00 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Distributed Paper
Annalisa ORNAGHI , Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milan-Bicocca , Milan, Italy
Mara TOGNETTI BORDOGNA , Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milan-Bicocca , Milan, Italy
Recent studies on international migration have paid special attention to the transnational perspective; this new branch of the sociology of migration studies the process through which migrants build social fields that link the countries of origin and destination (Glick Schiller et al 1992; Tognetti Bordogna 2004; Ambrosini 2008; Boccagni 2009).

The economic transnationalism connected to the great phenomenon of remittances - financial, material or immaterial - is one relevant aspect of this field of study (Vinello 2009).

Remittances are ambivalent, because they can be interpreted either as a medium of consolidation of Transnational ties or as a bond linking migrant women to the country of origin.

Our target is, in fact, those migrant women who carry out in Italy a particular work of care: the badanti, or informal caregivers. As such, they constitute an important resource of the Italian welfare system, characterized as it is by an important family component.

Any migratory phenomenon is, by nature, complex and dynamic, with different historical, economic and social characteristics; moreover it operates changes at many levels. The caring work done by badanti as well as the transnational links represented by cross-border remittances take place and must be read within this broader dynamics

The research question for this paper is precisely whether remittances are mainly bonds or mainly ties for badanti, relative to other migrant workers employed in the care sector.

We use qualitative and quantitative data from the Prin 2005 research project[1] concerning nationality, gender and class in new house holding work in Italy.

After describing this phenomenon and its peculiarities, we shall analyze the mechanisms that originate it and, establish correlations with the surrounding context.


[1] Prin 2005 Research project “Nazionalità, genere e classe nel nuovo lavoro domestico. Cambiamenti nella famiglia italiana e evoluzione dei sistemi migratori”.