The Migratory Experience of Young Italians to England: A Comparison Between the Experience of Immigration before and after the Economic Crisis

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Distributed Paper
Monica SANTORO, University of Milan, Italy
Over the last five years, the number of Italian expats has increased significantly with Great Britain and Germany representing the preferred foreign destinations. This paper is based on 50 in-depth interviews of Italian expats living in Manchester (UK) in 2014-2015. The research considered both people who immigrated in England more than five years ago and people who immigrated in the last two years, when the effect of economic crisis started to be very negative for young people in Italy. The research shows how young expats plan their immigration project before leaving, which kind of strategies they implement to cope with their everyday problems (bureaucratic problems, search for accommodation or for jobs), how they recreate their Italian lifestyle in England (e.g. food) and they try to maintain their national identity and establish forms of solidarity typical of immigrant communities. However there are differences between “new” and “old” immigrants. People who migrated in the last years are more vulnerable than people who settled in England before the economic crisis. The increase of youth immigration from Southern European countries has risen the level of competition in the labour market. Graduated people are forced to get unskilled jobs and they have less opportunity to change their position on labour market. Then other credentials, like a better knowledge of the language, a higher university qualification, become important to improve one’s occupational status and to settle definitively in the country