Italian Young People and the Choice of Emigration: Economic Crisis' Weird Effects

Monday, July 14, 2014: 8:15 PM
Room: F205
Oral Presentation
Paolo ZURLA , University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Ilaria PITTI , Department of Sociology and Business Law, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
In Italy, as well as in other European countries, the economic crisis and the austerity policies have
exacerbated the structural national problems, worsening the already difficult situations of the whole
population and, in particular, of the youngest generations.
In a country where the unemployment rate touches the 35% among the 18-24yo young people  and
where the demographic, socio-economic and political disparities between young and adult
generations lead to a worrying decrease of the social visibility of the first ones, emigration become
again an option for many Italian young people.
Although still quantitatively limited, it’s emerging among them a new migration trend which
involve extra-European countries such as Australia, where the emigration phenomenon acquires
new peculiar characteristics in terms of adaptation plans and future projects.
The proposed contribute aims at exploring the new features of the old phenomenon of young people
emigrations through the analysis of 25 in-depth interviews - collected between January and June
2013 in Sydney and Melbourne - to a group of Italian young people aged between 18 and 26yo,
emigrated in Australia in the last two years.
Trying to situate the emigration project within the framework of the interviewees’ transition to
adulthood, the analysis will focus on the reasons pushing them to emigrate, on their adaptation
strategies and on their future plans.
The first results highlight the weight of personal, familiar and socio-demographic characteristics on
the choice and especially on the results of immigration, which does not mitigate the starting social
inequalities: within the transitions to adulthood, emigration becomes an opportunity of realisation
for the strongest and a ‘trap’ for the weakest.
Finally, as immigration has a mirror effect on the society, the interviewees’ stories stress the
difficulties of a country that seems no more able to invest on its present and future.