Separated Young Migrants: Political Socialization and Narratives of Conflict and Cooperation in Palermo

Monday, 16 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Marilena MACALUSO, Palermo University, Italy
There is many literature on the definition of “childhood”, the conceptual frame of this expression has changed during the time and it is going on changing across the borders. Moreover, when children migrate alone or remain alone on the way toward a new country they institutionally become “separated children” (UNHCR) or “unaccompanied foreign minors” (Council of Europe). At an international level, there is no unique definition of the minor immigrant. In Italy, the expression unaccompanied foreign minor concerns “a minor who does not have Italian or other EU citizenship, has not applied for asylum and is, for any reason, within the territory of the State without care or representation by their parents or other adults who are legally responsible for them under existing Italian laws” (Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers No 535/1999, Art. 1). From one hand, there are the legal and bureaucratic procedure, the issues linked to social policy choices at national and local level, the social reaction to migrants and their representation on the Internet and mass media; on the other hand, there are the people, their story, their dreams and wishes, their emotions, their new daily experience and political socialization processes. This paper wonders about violence, power and injustices moving from the point of views collected in the narratives by some youths arrived alone in Palermo (Italy) with the aim of analyzing their political socialization and comparing and intertwining different perspectives, other- and selves-definitions, in order to find areas of conflict and cooperation between social actors and public institutions.